by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor
The 16 year old, occupying the no.3 seeded position in the competition, withstood a brave recovery from his colleague, Takuto Izumo, the no.2 seed, the arrest the title by the very minimal two point margin in the deciding seventh game (9-11, 10-12, 11-6, 7-11, 11-4, 12-10, 11-9).
“Sometimes we practise together, so we knew each other well. It was very hard and tiring. Everything is about the current state of mind. I am very satisfied”, Koyo Kanamitsu after beating Takuto Izumo
Victory by the very narrowest of decisions; it was very much the theme for the day in the latter stages of proceedings, as Koyo Kanamitsu ended French hopes in thrilling encounters.
In the round of the last eight, he beat Irvin Bertrand, the no.5 seed, in six games (11-4, 7-11, 3-11, 11-8, 11-8, 11-5), before being stretched to the seven games limit by Jules Rolland, very much the man in form (7-11, 11-6, 9-11, 11-7, 9-11, 11-3, 11-9).
Occupying the no.21 seeded position in the draw and very much an outsider for honours, in the third round, Jules Rolland had caused a major upset. He beat Japan’s Yukiya Uda, the top seed, in yet another duel decided by the narrowest of margins (12-10, 11-3, 12-10, 11-13, 8-11, 8-11, 11-9).
Success against Yukiya Uda, the 16 year old Frenchman continued his good form to beat Romanian qualifier Cristian Chirita in a further thriller (6-11, 9-11, 11-6, 11-6, 11-8, 10-12, 13-11), before recording a quarter-final success against England’s Tom Jarvis, the no.16 seed (11-7, 11-2, 6-11, 11-7, 11-8).
Tense contests, it was similar for Takuto Izumo; at the quarter-final stage, he had beaten colleague, Masaki Takami, the no.19 seed (11-5, 6-11, 11-13, 15-13, 11-6, 11-9), prior to recording a semi-final success in opposition to Romania’s Rares Sipos, the no.7 seed (5-11, 3-11, 11-9, 11-9, 11-8, 9-11, 11-5).
“In the first two games my tactics were bad so things didn’t work well; later I changed and played to the backhand, Takuto Izumo after overcoming Rares Sipos
A surprise quarter-finalist, Masaki Takami, had taken advantage of the third round defeat experienced by Germany’s Tobias Hippler, the no.8 seed, when losing to Polish qualifier Samuel Kulczycki (11-8, 11-8, 9-11, 9-11. 11-8, 13-11). One round later, Masaki Takami overcame Samuel Kulczycki (12-10, 11-9, 9-11, 11-8, 16-14) to reserve his last eight place.
Somewhat similarly, Rares Sipos overcame Japan’s Shunsuke Togami, the no.17 seed, at the quarter-final stage (6-11, 9-11, 11-6, 11-6, 15-13, 8-11, 11-7), the player who in round three had beaten Kanak Jha of the United States, the no.4 seed (12-14, 11-7, 11-9, 11-8, 11-9). Shunsuke Togami secured his quarter-final place, courtesy of success in opposition to Iranian qualifier Amin Ahmadian (11-5, 8-11, 11-6, 9-11, 11-2, 11-6).
“I was expecting him to play very quickly and I was surprised at the speed, when we started the game. I tried to change tactics, and play short and simple serves. Varying my serves short to the backhand and to the forehand serves played an important role in winning the match”, Rares Sipos after accounting for Shunsuke Togami
The runners up spot for Takuto Izumo in the Junior Boys’ Singles event; in the Junior Boys’ Doubles competition, in harness with Masaki Takami, it was success.
Just as in the latter stages of the Junior Boys’ Singles events, tense contests were the order of the day; both semi-finals needed the full five games to determine the winner.
Takuto Izumo and Masaki Takami beat Italy’s Antonino Amato and Daniele Pinto by the very narrowest of decisions (13-11, 9-11, 14-12, 7-11, 12-10); whilst in a similarly hard fought contest Kanak Jha, in partnership the Czech Republic’s Jan Valenta, defeated the French pairing of Irvin Bertrand and Leo de Nodrest (11-5, 11-12, 11-7, 6-11, 11-6).
Close calls but in the final the outcome was more decisive; Takuto Izumo and Masaki Takami beat Kanak Jha and Jan Valenta in three straight games (11-6, 11-7, 11-6).
Proceedings in the Junior Boys’ Singles and Junior Boys’ Doubles events concluded; attention now turns the Junior Boys’ Team and Cadet Boys’ Team competitions.