02 Dec 2016

Japan and China, the respective top two seeds in the Girls’ Team event at the Sun International 2016 World Junior Championships in Cape Town, South Africa, duly reserved their places in the final, following success on the third day of play, Friday 2nd December.

Furthermore, both emerged successful in their penultimate round duels in a most impressive manner; Japan accounted for Hong Kong, the no.6 seeds, by three matches to one, China recorded a three-nil victory over Korea Republic, the no.3 seeds.

by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor

The one success for the defeated was recorded by Minnie Soo Wai Yam; in the second match of the fixture against Japan, she overcame Hina Hayata (11-5, 10-12, 11-6, 11-9).

Success for Minnie Soo Wai Yam, a result that on another day could well have given Hong Kong a two matches to nil lead. In the opening encounter, colleague Mak Tze Wing won the first two games against Mima Ito, stood close to victory in the third before experiencing defeat (6-11, 3-11, 11-9.11-6, 11-4).

“After I won the second match, I knew I will still face Mima, who is an experienced player. I tried my best against her but, being a world class player, she showed her worth in the match. I think generally as a team we did our very best; what we lack against the Japanese is experience because they have all played at top level”, Minnie Soo Wai Yam

Once again, as she had done at the Perfect 2016 World Championships and the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, Mima Ito is filling the shoes of colleague Sayaka Hirano as the great team player. Later in the contest she overcame Minnie Soo Wai Yam (9-11, 11-9, 13-11, 12-10) after Miyu Kato had beaten Liu Qi (9-11, 11-8, 11-7, 11-3).

“I was not in good shape today but what is important was that we managed to win. Our target in this tournament is to win gold and against China in the final. We have not played against any of the Chinese players before and we know nothing about them. We don’t know how they play but we will go into the match as the challenger; we will fight till the end of the match”, Mima Ito

Victory in an impressive manner for Japan; it was even more impressive from the Chinese trio formed by Shi Xunyao, Liu Weishan and Sun Yizhen.

Shi Xunyao beat Kim Youjin (11-4, 7-11, 11-5, 11-9), before Liu Weishan accounted for Kim Jiho (11-4, 11-7, 16-14) and Sun Yizhen concluded matters by overcoming Heo Miryeo (11-6, 6-11, 11-7, 11-5).

The final of the Girls’ Team event is scheduled for Saturday 3rd December at 5.00pm (local time); Cape Town is two hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time.

World Junior Championships Mima Ito Hina Hayata Minnie Soo Wai Yam

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