by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor
China Sun Yingsha, winner on the Seamaster ITTF World Tour in Tokyo and the runner up in Chengdu, alongside Miu Hirano, the winner at the Seamaster 2017 Asian Championships, have been the sensations of the year.
In the Junior Girls’ Team final in Bangkok, they met in the opening match of the final; Sun Yingsha emerged successful in clinical style (11-3, 11-6, 11-5). He Zhuojia followed suit by overcoming Mima Ito (13-11, 11-9, 9-11, 11-7), before Qian Tianyi ended matters when defeating Maki Shiomi (11-5, 13-15, 11-5, 11-7).
Sun Yingsha and Qian Tianyi remain in the Chinese line-up; Shi Xunyao and Liu Weishan complete to the squad. The Japanese outfit is totally different this year; they select from Asuka Sasao, Miyu Nagasaki, Miyuu Kihara and Yuka Minagawa.
Gold and silver medallists not required; for the remaining outfits, they were called to action; matters in the three groups progressing as status advised.
Korea Republic, the no.3 seeds, selecting from Kim Jiho, Kang Dayeon, Kim Youjin and You Sowon duly topped their group as did Hong Kong, the no.4 seeds and Chinese Taipei, the no.5 seeds.
Hong Kong selected from Wong Chin Yau, Fung Wai Chu, Wang Liyong and Leung Ka Wan; for Chinese Taipei, the line-up was Su Pei-Ling, Wen Rue-Ling, Chen Ting-Ting, Chen Tung-Chuan.
Meanwhile, in the Cadet Girls’ Team event, where all outfits compete in the initial phase, there was positive news for the host nation. The no.5 seeds, selecting from Shin Yubin, Ryu Hanna and Lee Daeun; Korea finished in first place in their group ahead of Chinese Taipei’s Chien Tung-Chuan, Cai Fong-En and Huang Yu-Jie.
One surprise first place; in the remaining three groups it was as status advised. China, the top seeds, with Wang Tianyi, Kuai Man and Huang Yingji in action topped their group, as did the next two teams in the order of merit.
Japan and Hong Kong Kong both secured first places. Japan selected from Satsuki Odo, Yumeno Soma and Honami Nakamori; for Hong Kong, the team was formed by Lee Ka Yee, Chau Wing Szu and Ng Wing Lam.
Play continues on Friday 30th June; the team events conclude on Saturday 1st July.
Photos: An Sungho