by Simon Daish
Outstanding performances earlier in the day saw the duo of Miyuu Kihara and Satsuki Odo lead Japan to 3-0 victories against Singapore and France ‘B’ in the quarter-finals and semi-finals respectively, and even more impressive was the fact that neither one of the Japanese players dropped a single game across both matches.
Hong Kong ‘A’ also enjoyed a positive journey to the final, with the team of Lee Ka Yee and Chau Wing Sze putting in strong showings against the third seeds Turkey ‘A’ and their fellow compatriots for Hong Kong ‘B’ Poon Yat and Ng Wing Lam
The top two seeded teams had progressed to the final, and the spectators were in for a treat as the battle for the title produced a wonderful finale for the competition.
Lee Ka Yee gave Hong Kong ‘A’ the opening lead in the final after she overcame Satsuki Odo in five games (4-11, 12-10, 3-11, 11-9, 7-11), but a positive response followed for Japan as Miyuu Kihara raced to a three games to one victory over Chau Wing Sze (11-7, 9-11, 11-5, 11-5).
With the game scores level at one match apiece the doubles encounter held that little bit more significance to it, and success for the pairing of Odo and Kihara over Lee and Chau (12-10, 5-11, 12-10, 8-11, 11-7) put Japan ahead for the first time in the final. Kihara then completed the job for Japan with her straight games win over Lee (11-4, 12-10, 11-6) sealing the title.
Moving across to the Cadet Boys’ Team event and there was much to celebrate for the home fans, as France ‘A’ finished the competition on the top step of the podium.
Dorian Zheng and teammate Bilal Hamache proved to be the perfect combination for the category, and prior to the final the duo representing France ‘A’ built up momentum as they followed up their 3-0 success against Denmark with a strong 3-1 result against Belgium to book their spot in the final round.
The opposition for France ‘A’ in the final was Hungary’s Csaba Andras and Oliver Both, with the duo having registered positive outcomes against Czech Republic and France ‘B’ on day four of the tournament. However, claiming the winners medals turned out to be one step too far for the Hungarians, with France ‘A’ taking the glory.
France ‘A’ got off to a strong start in the final after Dorian Zheng breezed past Csaba Andras in three straight games (11-9, 11-8, 11-7), and following Bilal Hamache’s success against Oliver Both in the second singles match (11-6, 11-6, 6-11, 11-6) the French partnership of Zheng and Hamache combined well to beat Andras and Both in the doubles (11-4, 9-11, 11-7, 11-7) to guarantee the victory.
“We are stressed before the match. Last time, I lost against Csaba Andras. We were very afraid in semi-final against Belgium but we played our best to move into the final, our objective”, Dorian Zheng.