by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor
Japan is seven hours ahead of Croatia; so I reckon that when Koyo Kanamitsu stood on the podium in Zagreb to accept the prized trophy, the clock had just struck midnight in his native land.
Saturday 6th May is the date on which he celebrates his 17th birthday.
Success for Koyo Kanamitsu on his birthday might just be stretching a point a few minutes; equally suggesting the win was an upset might also not be totally accurate in a court of law.
Last year the two Zagreb finalists met four times, all on the ITTF World Junior Circuit; Koyo Kanamitisu won three of the engagements. In France he prevailed in the Junior Boys’ Singles event but experienced Junior Boys’ Team defeat; later in the year in Spain, he emerged successful in both competitions.
“I had a very good feeling for the ball during the final. Also, I think that I had good tactics, especially when I was serving. In fact, I think that I was a better today than my Tomas. I’m delighted because Zagreb is my first such tournament victory.” Koyo Kanamitsu
Success against expectations for Koyo Kanamitsu, for Romania’s Adina Diaconu, also competing in her first ITTF Challenge Series tournament of the year; in the Under 21 Women’s Singles final, it was success as per expectations.
The no.2 seed, she beat Korea’s Ji Eunchae, the no.8 seed, in the title deciding contest, she emerged successful in four games (11-8, 11-13, 11-6, 11-9).
“I am very happy. It’s the first such tournament that I have won but I hope that is not a last. I played very well in the final and also during whole tournament, very focused. I believed that I could win here. Now, I feel more confident in senior tournaments. I hope that I will play better and better on every next tournament.” Adina Diaconu
Gold for Adina Diaconu and a third international title of the year; just over one month ago in early April, at the 2017 Tunisia Junior and Cadet Open in Rades, she had won the Junior Girls’ Doubles title in partnership with colleague Andreea Dragoman prior to securing the top prize in the Junior Girls’ Singles event.
It is for both Koyo Kanamitsu and Adina Diaconu their first ever Under 21 titles at either an ITTF World Tour or ITTF Challenge Series tournament.