by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor
However, for the next two outfits in the order of merit, in a competition that witnessed three groups in the initial stage, with the teams finishing in first and second places advancing to the main draw, it was different scenario.
Japan, the no.2 seeds, represented by Hiroto Shinozuka, Kakeru Sone and Jo Yokotani had to settle for second place in their group; for Chinese Taipei, the no.3 seeds, who fielded Chen Chun Hsiang, Feng Yi-Hsin and Hu Chung-Wen, it was first place but not without moments of concern.
In their very first fixture of the day, Japan experienced a three-two defeat at the hands of Thailand’s Yanapong Panagitgun, Supakron Pankhaoyoy and Purit Verakultawan. Architect of the upset was Yanapong Panagitgun. He beat Jo Yokotani (11-7, 11-9, 9-11, 11-7) before in a nail-biting five games encounter, decided by the minimal two point margin, he overcame Kakeru Sone (8-11, 11-8, 11-5, 9-11, 13-11).
The one remaining win for Thailand was recorded in the fifth and decisive final match of the engagement when Supakron Pankhaoyoy beat Jo Yokotani to seal the victory. Success for Japan came in the second and third matches of the fixture; Kakeru Sone overcame Supakron Pankhaoyoy (11-9, 11-5, 11-3), Horito Shiozuka prevailed against Purit Verakultawan (9-11, 11-3, 15-17, 11-5, 11-4).
Yanapong Panagitgun, Supakron Pankhaoyoy and Purit Verakultawan duly remained unbeaten and thus secured first place in the group.
Meanwhile, for Chinese Taipei ‘A’, it was a close call when facing the Hong Kong ‘A’ Team comprising Cheng Pak Hei, Cheung Yin To and Tsang Tsz Tsun.
A full distance five match win was the order of the day with Chen Chun-Hsiang the mastermind of victory. He beat both Cheng Pak Hei (11-9, 11-8, 11-9) and in the vital fifth match of the fixture, he overcame Tsang Tsz Tsun (11-9, 11-4, 11-8). The one remaining win for Chinese Taipei ‘A’ was secured by Feng Yi-Hsin against Tsang Tsz Tsun; for Hong Kong ‘A’, Cheung Yin To beat Hu Chung-Wen (16-14, 9-11, 14-12, 4-11, 11-8), Cheng Pak Hei overcame Feng Yi-Hsin (6-11, 1-11, 12-10, 11-5, 11-5).
Defeat by a narrow margin but it was to be third place in the group. In the concluding match of the day, Hong Kong ‘A’ suffered a three-two defeat at the hands of the outfit formed by Australia’s Rohan Dhooria, India’s Ishaan Hingorani and Singapore’s Gerald Yu Zong Jun. Backbone of the win was Gerald Yu Zong Jun; he accounted for Cheng Pak Hei (11-4, 10-12, 11-13, 11-8, 11-9) and in the vital fifth and deciding match he overcame Tsang Tsz Tsun (12-10, 11-7, 11-4).
Rohan Dhooria, Ishaan Hingorani and Gerald Yu Zong Jun duly finished in second place and therefore advanced to the main draw.
The Junior Boys’ Team event concludes on Thursday 3rd August.