by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor
Notably, in the qualification stage of proceedings, he had beaten Iran’s Nima Alamian before in the opening round accounting for India’s Soumyajit Ghosh. Progress was halted one round later by Japan’s Jin Ueda.
In Taicang, all four semi-finals from the host nation, the left handed Wang Chuqin gained an air of revenge in his penultimate round encounter. He beat Xue Fei, a right handed pen-holder, the player against whom he had suffered defeat at the semi-final stage of the Boys’ Singles event at the 2015 World Junior Championships in La Roche sur Yon, France.
In Taicang, Wang Chuqin emerged successful in five games (8-11, 11-7, 11-5, 13-11, 11-8) to reserve his place in the final, where he maintained his form to beat Xu Yingbin in a similar manner (11-8, 11-1, 11-9, 9-11, 11-6). An impressive performance against Xu Yingbin, who likewise had been imposing in the penultimate round; he had overcome Song Zhuoheng in four straight games.
“The technique of Song Zhuoheng is similar to mine; we know each other well. In these circumstances you can win or lose; today I think I was the quicker to get into the match.” Wang Chuqin
China in control, it was the same at the semi-final stage of the Cadet Boys’ Singles event. Winner of the Cadet Boys’ Singles title last September at the 2016 Asian Junior and Cadet Championships, when beating Japan’s Tomokazu Harimoto in the final, Niu Guankai prevailed in Taicang.
“My mental approach was steady and calm. I prepared well before the match. I did not underestimate my opponent; I got into the game quickly and became confident.” Niu Guankai
After overcoming Chen Yaxuan (11-6, 11-6, 11-6), he accounted for Song Zhuoheng to capture the top prize (11-3, 11-5, 11-6); in the counterpart semi-final Song Zhuheng had beaten Chen Yuanyu (12-10, 11-7, 11-6).
Success upon success for China but it was not a full house; Korea’s Jang Seongil won the Hopes Boys’ Singles title; at the final hurdle he accounted for Gao Shentong (11-8, 11-8, 11-6). Jang Seongil
“I am happy because I am the champion, I was able to block his attacks and then turn to my advantage.” Jang Seongil
Proceedings concluded in Chengdu, the next stop on the ITTF World Junior Circuit is Amman; the 2017 Jordan Junior and Cadet Open commences on Tuesday 25th July.
Photos: Liu Chang An / Zhang Lingling