12 May 2017

A series of three-nil wins in the group stage of proceedings in the Junior Girls’ Team event at the SET 2017 Thailand Junior and Cadet Open in Bangkok; the next day, Thursday 11th May, even though fielding players with no current World ranking, it was exactly the same scenario.

Selecting from Ayano I and Asuka Sasao alongside Kasumi Kimura and Mitsuho Kimura who are no relation, nor any relation Koji Kimura, the winner of four World Championships titles and now a member of the ITTF President’s Advisory Council, Japan emerged successful without surrendering a single individual match.

by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor

After recording a three-nil semi-final win in opposition to the outfit comprising Malaysia’s Alice Chang Li and Tee Ai Xin, who teamed with Singapore’s Eunice Lim; with Ayano I replacing Mitsuho Kimura in the line-up, the same result was posted in the final against the Chinese Taipei combination of Chien Tung-Chuan, Liang Jing-Jing and Wen Ruei-Ling.

Kasumi Kimura gave Japan the ideal start by beating Wen Rue-Ling (4-11, 11-6, 11-8, 11-9), before Asuka Sasao overcame Chien Tung-Chuan (11-9, 11-5, 8-11, 11-4) and Ayano I ended matters by overcoming Liang Jing-Jing (11-6, 11-8, 8-11, 11-9).

Runners up spot for Chinese Taipei as their second seeded position advised but their place in the final was somewhat of a surprise; in the penultimate round they accounted for the Thailand ‘A’ Team top seeded trio of Cathareeya Poungsri, Monapsorn Saritapirak and Jinnipa Sawettabut; the outfit who on the opening day had finished in second place in their group behind Japan.

A three-two success was the outcome in quite dramatic circumstances. Jinnipa Sawettabut gave Thailand ‘A’ the perfect start by beating Wen Rue-Ling (11-3, 11-6, 11-9), before Cathareeya Poungsri overcame Chien Tung-Chuan (11-9, 11-8, 7-11, 8-11, 11-8).

It was at that stage the Chinese Taipei recovery began; Liang Jing-Jing accounted for Monapsorn Saritapirak (11-6, 11-9, 9-11, 11-3), Chien Tung-Chuan levelled matters by defeating Jinippia Sawettabut (11-7, 11-13, 11-9, 11-9) to set the stage for Wen Rue-Ling to complete the recovery.

She duly obliged, but there were tense moments; she recovered from a two games to one deficit to emerge victorious by the very narrowest of margins in the deciding fifth game (9-11, 11-9, 15-17, 11-5, 11-9).

Play in the Junior Girls’ Team event over, the Junior Girls’ Singles competition commences on Friday 12th May.

SET 2017 Thailand Junior and Cadet Open
Photos: Nakares Terakashimi

World Junior Circuit 2017 Thailand Junior & Cadet Open SET 2017 Thailand Junior and Cadet Open
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