Saki Shibata Retains Belgium Open Title

(Photo: ITTF)

Crowned Women’s Singles champion on Belgian soil last year, Japan’s Saki Shibata successfully defended her title at the 2018 Belgium Open in De Haan on Saturday 27th October.

In the penultimate round of the competition top seed Saki Shibata saw off fourth seed Miyu Nagasaki with a confident display to set up a meeting with third seed Honoka Hashimoto at the final hurdle.

With just two seeding positions separating the two finalists, the fight for the top step of the medals podium was anticipated to be close but in reality one player performed significantly stronger than the other.

Needing just four games to get the job done, Saki Shibata was once again presented with the trophy in De Haan (11-7, 11-7, 11-7, 11-5) to collect her second gold medal of the tournament having won the Women’s Doubles event earlier in the day with fellow compatriot Satsuki Odo.

“It was important to defend my title here in Belgium. Last year I won one title, now two. Especially about our performance in doubles I was very happy. This was only the third time that we played together; that’s good for the future. I won many Challengers, now it’s time to win a major or a platinum event. For that I will have to beat Chinese players. Of course I am focused for the Olympics. I hope to be part of the Japanese team in Tokyo.” – Saki Shibata

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