Huang Chien-Tu, the Junior Boys' Singles winner in Guatemala
Photo By: Ruben Ochoa
2012 Guatemala Junior & Cadet Open - ITTF Junior Circuit
Second place earlier in the proceedings in the Cadet Boys’ Team event in partnership with Chen Yen-Heng, it was one step higher for Chinese Taipei’s Huang Chien-Tu on the concluding day of play, Sunday 12th August 2012 at the Guatemala Junior and Cadet Open.
He was the surprise Junior Boys’ Singles winner, in his first appearance of the year on the ITTF Junior Circuit and his first such success.
It was by a considerable distance his best ever international performance. The previous best was in November 2011 at the Tunisia Junior and Cadet Open, when he had departed in the quarter-finals of the Junior Boys’ Singles event, beaten by Egypt’s Mohamed Shouman.
Furthermore, he added a second title to his collection; partnering Chen Yen-Heng he won the Cadet Boys’ Doubles but he was not able to complete a hat-trick of titles in the individual events.
Third Step of Podium
In the Cadet Boys’ Singles competition, he had to settle for the third step of the medal podium; the event being won by Sweden’s Simon Berglund.
Road to Final
The no.3 seed in the Junior Boys’ Singles event, Huang Chien-Tu accounted for Aarsh Shah of the United States in the opening round (11-7, 11-6, 11-3, 11-4), before overcoming India’s Birdie Boro (11-9, 11-7, 11-6, 11-4) and Venezuela’s Jan Medina, the no.7 seed (9-11, 11-8, 11-6, 12-10, 11-4) to book his place in the semi-finals.
It was at that stage he caused one of the major upsets of the day.
He beat compatriot, Lai Yi-Yao, the no.1 seed in the closest contest of the whole tournament; Huang Chien-Tu succeeded in a gripping seven games encounter (11-7, 5-11, 11-4, 11-6, 10-12, 5-11, 15-13).
Closely Fought Final
A tension packed semi-final, it was only marginally more comfortable in the final; against India’s Utkarsh Gupta, the 14 year old from Chinese Taipei clinched the title by securing a nail-biting seven games victory (7-11, 11-6, 4-11, 10-12, 11-9, 11-5, 11-8).
Tested En Route to Final
Equally en route to the final, Utkarsh Gupta had been involved in a close duel.
After recording a second round win over Venezuela’s Daniel Fuenmayor (11-7, 11-8, 11-3, 11-8), he was extended the full seven games distance in the quarter-finals by New Zealand’s Kevin Wu, the no.4 seed (13-15, 7-11, 11-6, 11-5, 11-5, 5-11, 11-6).
A semi-final place reserved, life was rather more comfortable in the penultimate round; he beat colleague Lairin Puia in five games (11-4, 11-5, 9-11, 11-7, 11-9) to book his place in the final.
The appearance of Lairin Puia in the semi-final stage was somewhat of a surprise; in round two he had beaten Chinese Taipei’s Chen Yen-Heng (11-3, 11-4, 7-11, 11-8, 12-14, 11-6), the player who had topped his group one day earlier as a result of his win over Sweden’s Simon Berglund, the no.2 seed.
A fine effort from Lairin Puia, he duly booked his place in the semi-final by maintaining his form to overcome Indian colleague Ayush Tayal in the quarter-finals (11-6, 12-10, 11-6, 11-7).
Defeat for Simon Berglund in the Junior Boys’ Singles but success for Huang Chien-Tu.
In the Cadet Boys’ Singles event it was to some extent roles reversed.
Top Seeded Spot Justified
Simon Berglund, the no.1 seed, duly justified his top billing.
He beat Aashay Patel of the United States (11-8, 11-9, 11-4), Chinese Taipei’s Chen Yen-Heng (12-10, 8-11, 11-1, 11-4) and surprise semi-finalist India’s Ayush Tayal (11-6, 11-2, 3-11, 14-12) to reach the final. At the semi-final stage, Ayush Tayal had beaten colleague, Utkarsh Gupta, the no.3 seed by the very narrowest of margins (11-8, 6-11, 11-7, 6-11, 14-12).
Beaten Again by Same Player
However, for Huang Chien-Tu, the no.2 seed, there was no place in the final.
He had been beaten in the penultimate round by India’s Anirban Ghosh, the no.4 seed (11-8, 11-13, 8-11, 11-9, 11-7), a player against whom he had experienced problems earlier in the tournament. In the final of the Cadet Boys’ Team event he had lost to Anirban Ghosh and again in a thrilling full distance five games duel (6-11, 9-11, 13-11, 11-8, 11-6).
Straight Games Final
A place in the final booked, Anirban Ghosh found Simon Berglund in good form; the Swede posted a straight games win (11-6, 11-8, 11-6).
Prior to his success against Huang Chien-Tu, Anirban Ghosh had beaten Mexico’s Juan Villa (8-11, 11-7, 11-6, 11-2) and Trinidad and Tobago’s Aaron Wilson (11-6, 11-7, 11-13, 11-4).
Cadet Boys’ Doubles
Success for Anirban Ghosh over Huang Chien-Tu in the Cadet Boys’ Singles event but that was not the situation in the Cadet Boys’ Doubles competition.
Seeded no.1, Anirban Ghosh and Utkarsh Gupta suffered a four games defeat in the final at the hands of Chen Yen-Heng and Huang Chen-Tu, the no.3 seeds (11-6, 11-9, 9-11, 11-8).
In Form Pair
At the semi-final stage Anirban Ghosh and Utkarsh Gupta had beaten the combination of Cuba’s Livan Martinez and El Salvador’s Ariel Umanzor (11-13, 11-7, 12-10, 11-7); a pair in form.
One round earlier they had ousted Guatemala’s Diego Morales and Edwin Valenzuela (11-6, 11-7, 11-5), who in the second round had dispatched Trinidad and Tobago’s Arun Roopnarine and Aaron Wilson, the no.4 seeds (11-9, 11-9, 4-11, 11-7).
Junior Boys’ Singles
Meanwhile, in the Junior Boys’ Doubles event it was success for Chinese Taipei’s Lai Yi-Yao and New Zealand’s Kevin Wu.
The no.1 seeds, they accounted Venezuela’s Daniel Fuenmayor and Jan Medina in the final (11-7, 11-9, 11-9), having one round earlier beaten surprise semi-finalists Andres Monsalve and Pablo Navarro, also from Venezuela (9-11, 12-10, 11-6, 11-9).
At the quarter-final stage the Venezuelans had beaten El Salvador’s Julio Calderon and Carlos Umanzor, the no. 3 seeds (12-10, 11-7, 12-10).
Equally, Daniel Fuenmayor and Jan Medina were somewhat surprise finalists.
Seeded no.4, having beaten Puerto Rico’s Brandon Echevarria and Ricardo Jimenez in the quarter-finals (11-8, 15-17, 11-3, 11-8), they upset the pecking order in the semi-finals by overcoming Sweden’s Simon Berglund and Jonas Stener, the no.2 seeds.
They won in four games (12-10, 6-11, 12-10, 11-9).