By Neha Aggarwal
All eyes on Japan
They are the top seeds in both boys’ and girls’ team events. The girls are one of the strongest, not only in juniors, but also in under-21 and women’s section. Miu Hirano stunned the world when she became the youngest woman (16 years old) to win the Women’s World Cup. Mima Ito is ranked ninth in the world, Hina Hayata is ranked number 24 and Kato Miyu is 37. They have not played until the decisive match with any of the teams on their road to the finals. Together, they are fearless and intimidating.
The girls will be playing against China in the finals. The team is comprised of Liu Weishan, Shi Xunyao, Sun Yizhen, Yuan Yuan. Except for Liu Weishan who is seeded number 11 in the junior girls’ singles, the other three are seeded outside of top 25 in the tournament. They are not very big names on the international arena as compared to the Japanese. However, in Cape Town they have shown their mettle, they too have won most of their matches in a very smooth fashion. Rankings don’t matter, what matters is who plays better on the day when it matters the most.
Japan girls team won the World Junior Championship in Bratislava in 2010. Will they repeat the success on Saturday 3rd December 2016? Or will China again stop them?
Match time: 5.00pm local time.
The boys’ team event started with big surprises, the latest being China knocked out in the semi-finals. Korea Republic is high on confidence with last night’s stunning performance and will leave no stone unturned to create another history.
But, they are aware whom they are competing against. The top seeds, the mighty Japanese- Tomokazu Harimoto, Yuto Kizukuri, Yuki Matsuyama and Tonin Ryuzaki. They had a tricky start in the second stage, but they settled well in the knock out stage with a 3-0 win in both quarter finals and semi finals. Both the opponents are driven with ambition, proving themselves again and again at each step. The biggest matches of the year is about to come.
Winning needs that extra edge. So who will it be tonight?
Match time: 7.00pm local time.
The day will start with position matches of the team events and then mixed doubles in the afternoon. The evening session will bring out a new world junior champion team.
Keep your eyes on, the future is being shaped today in Cape Town.