By Neha Aggarwal
Japan beat Germany in a very impressive 3-0 win.
Yuka Minagawa stepped in first on the court for Japan against Germany’s Jennie Wolf. The Japanese, true to her forte, won the match 3-1 (9-11, 11-8, 11-7, 11-8) to give them a 1-0 start.
Next came Yumeno Soma, the runner-up in the singles, who asserted a dominant victory over Laura Tiefenbrunner. Soma won the straight games 11-3, 15-13, 11-8. At this point, it was evident who will take the crown.
When Satsuki Odo started off, everything became even the more affirmative. She thrashed Lotta Rose in three straight games (12-10, 11-6, 11-6) to bring Japan’s second title in the same tournament.
The top two seeds, Belarus and Russia, both suffered defeats in the semi-final stage by Japan and Germany respectively.
Japan’s Maki Shiomi had won the singles crown, and despite her absence in the team event, Japan dominated. That is because even in the singles, all four girls in the semi-finals were from Japan, Maki Shiomi and the rest of the Japanese winning team.
Japan’s dominance is clear in the junior girls in Platja d’Aro. The boys however lost in the quarter-finals, which was clearly a disappointment for the nation that has a rich history in the sport.
In the Under-18 category, the top four ranked girls in May 2017 global charts are also the most dangerous women in the women’s section. Miu Hirano, Mima Ito, Hina Hayata and Miyu Kato are the top four girls respectively. Maki Shiomi is ranked no.6, and by winning the title in Spain, she justifies her position as she won her third title this year while we are only half way through 2017.
As we look forward to more ITTF World Junior Circuit events, all eyes will clearly be on the Japanese girls and their winning ways.