By Neha Aggarwal
Yes, rankings don’t matter. Today this point was proved right. Day seven at the Sun International 2016 World Junior Championship in Cape Town, South Africa was full of upsets specially, the top names in girls’ singles, boys’ singles, girls’ doubles and boys’ doubles.
Junior Girls’ Singles
The day started with possibly the biggest upset of the tournament as second seed Mima Ito was knocked out in the round of 32 by Korea Republic’s Kim Youjin in seven games (11-8, 10-12, 2-11, 12-10, 7-11, 11-8, 11-4). Japan’s dream run further ended in the quarter finals as Women’s World Cup winner and top seed Miu Hirano was shown the door by China’s Shi Xunyao (11-5, 11-5, 11-7, 11-3). Xunyao thus was the lone Chinese to enter the semi finals.
Also, Miyu Kato is the only one left from Japan who made it to the semi finals as even Hina Hayata faced defeat by China’s Sun Yizhen in the round of 32. Further, in the quarter finals, Yizhen was defeated by 13th seed Hong Kong’s Mak Tze Wing in seven games 6-11, 13-11, 6-11, 11-3, 7-11, 12-10, 7-11.
After sensationally defeating Mima Ito, Korea Republic’s Kim Youjin, could not continue her dream run till the podium as she was beaten by Romania’s Adina Diaconu in quarter finals in four games 11-7, 11-5, 11-8, 11-7. Diaconu thus marched into the semi finals.
The semi finalists are: Shi Xunyao (CHN), Miyu Kato (JPN), Mak Tze Wing (HKG),Adina Diacon(ROU).
Junior Boys’s Singles
The boys’ competition was relatively smoother as top seed Tomokazu Harimoto (JPN) beat Alexandre Cassin (FRA) 4-3 in the quarter finals to grab his spot in the last four. Sixth seed An Jaehyun (KOR) was however defeated by China’s Yang Shuo in six games 12-14, 11-13, 4-11, 11-8,11-9, 1-11 in the quarter finals. Shuo is the only Chinese who reached the semi finals.
In the lower half, second seed Cho Seungmin (KOR) successfully made it to the semi finals after defeating Tobias Hippler (GER) 4-2. The final spot was grabbed by 11th seed Ng Pak Nam who beat Huang Chien-Tu (TPE) 4-0 to make his place in the semi finals.
The semi finalists are: Tomokazu Harimoto (JPN),Yang Shuo (CHN), Ng Pak Nam (HKG),Cho Seungmin (KOR)
Junior Girls’ Doubles
The Romanian pair of Adina Diaconu and Andreea Dragoman created history as they reached the finals of the Junior girls’ doubles event. This is the first time that Romania has entered the finals of the junior girls’ doubles in the history of the World Junior Championships. They beat Hong Kong’s Liu Qi and Wong Chin Yau in a dramatic match that was decided in the full seven games 16-14, 11-6, 9-11, 8-11,11-6, 11-13, 8-11.
The other pair to reach the finals was Japan’s Hina Hayata and Miyu Kato, the second seeded pair in the tournament. They prevailed over Hong Kong’s Mak Tze Wing and Soo Wai Yam Minnie (11-7, 11-6, 11-6, 7-11, 11-4) to fight for the crown.
Finals will be played on the 7th December at 15:00 hours local time.
Junior Boys’ Doubles
The top two pairs have made it to the finals in the junior boys’ doubles event. Japan’s Tomokazu Harimoto and Tonin Ryuzaki beat France’s pair of Alexandre Cassin and Jor Seyfried, who were also the fourth seed in the tournament. The match went on to the final game and 14-12 in the decider (8-11, 6-11, 11-7, 12-10,11-8, 8-11, 14-12), making it possibly the most competitive match of the tournament.
In the lower half, second seeded pair of An Jaehyun and Cho Seungmin from Korea Republic moved to the finals beating Chinese Taipei’s Huang Chien-Tu and Lin Yun Ju in a similar fashion- 4-3 (11-2, 9-11, 9-11, 5-11,11-9, 11-8, 12-14).
Thus with no Chinese in fray, Japan will be aiming to win its fourth and Korea Republic its first junior boys’ doubles title.