By Neha Aggarwal
Li Hsin Yang’s hunger for the title was displayed when in the qualification stage he beat Japan’s Uda Yukiya, possibly one of the biggest casualties of the tournament. Occupying the top spot in the qualification stage, he moved to the quarter-finals where he beat host nation’s Manav Vikash Thakkar in six games and in the semi finals, he knocked down Japan’s Koyo Kanamitsu 4-1.
The final match was a contest between teammates and friends.
Before the finals, Lai Chi-Chien said, “I wanted Li Hsin-Yang to win. He is my teammate. Also, I have played against him many times back home, and I beat him most of the times.”
But today at Indore, Li Hsin-Yang, ranked no.44 in Under-18 January 2017 ranking, came to overcome the herculean task.
Lai Chi-Chien started off on a thunderous note taking a lead of 2-1. At every point, he dominated with his bullet attacks.
Despite leading 10-6 in the fourth game, Li Hsin-Yang conceded the game 10-12 to give Lai Chi-Chien a 3-1 lead.
However, from the fifth game onwards, Li Hsin-Yang changed the course of the game and produced some roaring counter attacks that left Lai Chi-Chien bewildered.
Even in the sixth game, Lai Chi-Chien lead 10-7 but Li Hsin-Yang responded well by saving four game points and winning the game 13-11.
The deciding game was a nail biting one. Again Lai Chi-Chien was leading 5-1 but this time again Li Hsin-Yang bounced back. He won six points in a row to make it 7-5 and finally wrapped up the match 11-8. Post his victory he said,
“I am so happy to win this title. My aggression helped me a lot today to bounce back each time I was training. Its a great New Year’s gift!”