by Simon Daish
Japan’s Tomokazu Harimoto and Tonin Ryuzaki were competing in their first Boys’ Doubles match of the 2016 World Junior Championships having received a bye in the opening round, however, Thibaut Darcis and Laurens Devos did have to participate in a Round of 64 tie with the Belgian duo winning in four games against Nigeria’s Amadi Omeh and Azeez Solanke to set up a tie with the category’s top seeds in the last 32.
Five games were needed to find a victor in the Round of 32 encounter between top seeds Harimoto and Ryuzaki and the opposing duo of Darcis and Devos, as both pairings picked up alternating game wins across the opening four ends to force a decider.
While Darcis and Devos had the momentum on their side having won the previous game, it was Harimoto and Ryuzaki who went on to take the fifth game in style, to complete the 3-2 victory (13-11, 7-11, 11-2, 7-11, 11-3).
Next up for Tomokazu Harimoto and Tonin Ryuzaki is a tie against the Chinese pairing of Xu Yingbin and Yang Shuo after they won their Round of 32 match in dominating fashion.
Xu Yingbin and Yang Shuo moved through to the next stage of the competition with ease, as the Chinese duo saw off Argentina’s Martin Bentancor and Tomas Joffre without dropping a single game (11-4, 11-2, 11-4).
Defeat for one Argentine pair, but in the bottom half of the draw there was success for another of the country’s teams as Horacio Cifuentes and Francisco Sanchi recovered from 1-2 down to put France’s Irvin Bertrand and Leo De Nodrest out of the competition with a 3-2 win (16-14, 8-11, 10-12, 11-9, 12-10) going to the Latin American duo.
The Boys’ Doubles second seeds are also safely through to day six’s evening session as the Korea Republic pairing of An Jaehyun and Cho Seungmin claimed a straight games triumph over USA’s Adar Alguetti and Victor Liu (11-3, 11-8, 11-4). An Jaehyun and Cho Seungmin will meet Argentina’s Horacio Cifuentes and Francisco Sanchi for a place in the quarter-finals.
There will also be an Italian partnership competing in the last 16 after Antonino Amato and Daniele Pinto defeated the No.6 seeds Ham Yu Song and Kim Song Gun of DPR Korea (11-9, 4-11, 11-8, 11-1)
“We knew we could win the match because we have been playing together in the doubles for long and we were runners up at the European Championships. We are better at short ball and we ensure that we play a good service game and we put a lot of spin on the ball as well” Antonino Amato (Italy).