By Neha Aggarwal
Lai Chi-Chien beat Alexandru Manole
From the word go, Lai Chi-Chien was a different person today. The tenacity to win each point was clearly seen in his strokes. Despite Alexandru Manole giving in his best, it was certainly not enough to halt the progress of the 18 year old.
Lai Chi-Chien won in six games. He says, “Both of us played a very good game in the semi finals. I was just a little better than him in the short balls. I also served better than him today which gave me good balls to attack.”
He continued further,”I forced him to flip to my forehand and I attacked that well. That was the key. I attacked more to his forehand as I felt more comfortable there.”
Lai Chi- Chien won 16-14, 8-11, 11-13, 11-4, 12-10, 11-7.
“I feel great, I want to be the champion here.”- Lai Chi-Chien
He ended on a bright note, found a comfortable spot to sit, took his camera and started his analysis for the finals.
Li Hsin-Yang beat Koyo Kanamitsu
Li Hsin-Yang was a rather unstoppable today. Ranked no.44 in the Under-18 boys’ singles in the January 2017 ranking, Li Hsin-Yang played like a true champion. He beat Koyo Kanamitsu in five games.
“I feel so happy today! It has been a great tournament so far. My attacks were very strong and I am glad I was able to implement all my strategies in the match.” exclaimed Li Hsin-Yang.
He won 12-10, 11-9, 5-11, 11-8, 11-8 to wrap up the match 4-1.
The Final Match
Certainly, Chinese Taipei has received the best gift this new year. Since both Lai Chi-Chien and Li Hsin-Yang are in finals, it’s a matter of immense pride for the nation. Before the finals Lai Chi-Chien said,
“I want 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.”
No matter the result, Chinese Taipei is the winner today. They will be taking home the gold this Chinese New Year.
The match will be played at 2:50pm IST.
Watch LIVE on ITTF’s YouTube Channel!