by Simon Daish
The top seeds from Japan Tomokazu Harimoto and Tonin Ryuzaki have booked their spot in the final following their 4-3 triumph over the highly talented French duo Alexandre Cassin and Joe Seyfried in the last four of the competition.
Despite being the No.1 seeded partnership for the event Tomokazu Harimoto and Tonin Ryuzaki hadn’t enjoyed the smoothest of journeys prior to their semi-finals tie having squeezed through a difficult match against China’s Xu Yingbin and Yang Shuo two rounds earlier, and the beginning of their last four tie against Alexandre Cassin and Joe Seyfried foreshadowed another tough battle ahead for the Japanese duo after they fell 0-2 behind early on.
Something needed to change if Tomokazu Harimoto and Tonin Ryuzaki where to find their way back into the duel and after a further five games the Japanese combination eventually managed to get the job done (8-11, 6-11, 11-7, 12-10, 11-8, 8-11, 14-12) and they were rewarded with a place in the final.
“It was a really tough match against the French, and we are very happy to win 4-3 in the end. They were very strong today, and made very few mistakes in the match, and Seyfried’s flick is really good. Our goal here in Cape Town is definitely the Gold medal, tomorrow we will play our best for it” – Tonin Ryuzaki (Japan).
An Jaehyun and Cho Seungmin are the second seeds for the category and the team from Korea Republic were arguably the most in form pairing heading into the last four of the competition having won all three of their previous matches by 3-0 scorelines, however, their semi-finals encounter against 11th seeds Huang Chien-Tu and Lin Yun-Ju proved to be a slightly more problematic fixture with seven ends required to find a victor.
Representing Chinese Taipei Huang Chien-Tu and Lin Yun-Ju had already impressed at the Championships with a powerful win over the No.3 seeds Xu Haidong and Yu Heyi in the quarter-finals, and were looking to pick up another shock win against their semi-final opponents in an attempt to make the headlines once again.
Huang Chien-Tu and Lin Yun-Ju made a blistering start out of the blocks in the semi-final match producing a convincing victory in the opening game, but there were no signs of nerves from An Jaehyun nor his partner Cho Seungmin as the Korean pair not only managed to level the match but went on to gain a 3-1 lead in the tie.
Then the match became that little bit more interesting when the Chinese Taipei duo captured games five and six to force a decider, yet it was not to be for Huang Chien-Tu and Lin Yun-Ju as Korea Republic’s An Jaehyun and Cho Seungmin held strong in the seventh end to claim the victory (2-11, 11-9, 11-9, 11-5, 9-11, 8-11, 14-12).