by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor
In Bangkok, An Jaehyun had been the Korean hero; he had won both his matches in the final, notably emerging successful in the fifth and deciding contest. Once again, this time on home soil, he gave all for the cause and came very close to levelling matters and increasing the pressure on the champions elect.
After Wang Chuqin had beaten follow left hander, Hwang Minha (11-9, 11-7, 15-13); An Jaehyun stretched Xue Fei, a pen-hold grip play and runner up in the Boys’ Singles event at the 2015 World Junior Championships to the very limit. Xue Fei emerged successful by the very minimal margin in the deciding fifth game (13-11, 5-11, 8-11, 11-2, 13-11).
A pivotal moment in the contest, breathing space; Xu Yingbin overcame Cho Daeseong (11-6, 9-11, 11-5, 11-8) to bring matters to a conclusion.
Success for China means an invitation to compete in the Boys’ Team event at the forthcoming 2017 World Junior Championships in Riva del Garda, Italy, as it does for Korea, the runners up.
Five places are allocated to Asia at the prestigious end of year event; thus Chinese Taipei and India, being the beaten semi-finalists one day earlier, also qualify.
The decision to be made on the third day of action was as to whom would gain fifth place and the one remaining invite. The decision went in favour of Japan.
After recording a three-nil win against the Hong Kong trio of Tsang Tsz Tsun, Cheng Pak Hei and Cheung Yin To with Masaki Takami, Yukiya Uda and Shunsuke Togami on duty, a further impressive win was recorded in the determining fixture.
Yuto Kizukuri replaced Yukiya Uda in the contest against Iran’s Amirreza Abbasi, Amin Ahmadian and Alireza Rahnamayhaghighi, a three-nil win was recorded; fifth place was reserved.
Proceedings in the Junior Boys’ Team event over, attention now turns towards the individual competitions. Play concludes on Tuesday 4th July.
Photos: An Sungho