15 Sep 2017

Seven groups in the first stage of the Junior Girls’ Team event at the 2017 Croatia Junior and Cadet Open in Varazdin, with only first places gaining passports to the main draw, it was Korea who caused the upsets.

Against expectations, Korea ‘A’ represented by Kang Eunji, Lee Youngil and Kim Seoyun remained unbeaten to top their group, as did the Korea ‘B’ trio formed by Jung Dana Choi Yuna and Lee Hojin.

by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor

The crucial contest for Korea ‘A’ was against the seventh combination formed by Germany’s Anastasia Bondareva who joined forces with England’s Denise Payet and Thailand’s Jinnipa Sawettabut.

A three-two victory was the end result; Jinnipa Sawettabut overcame both Lee Youngi (11-5, 11-5, 11-9) and Kang Eunji (18-16, 8-11, 11-6, 11-7) but that was the sum total of her team’s success. Denise Payet was beaten by both Kang Eunji (11-8, 11-7, 11-5) and, in the vital concluding match of the fixture, by Lee Youngi (11-6, 11-8, 11-9). In the third match of the engagement, Kim Seoyun overcame Anastasia Bondareva (11-8, 11-8, 2-11, 11-5).

Similarly, the crucial success for Korea ‘B’ was in a full distance five match contest when they beat Serbia, the no.6 seeds, an engagement in which a recovery was required.

Jung Dana was beaten by Sabina Surjan (11-13, 11-9, 11-7, 11-8) and Choi Yuna by Tijana Jokic (7-11, 11-9, 4-11, 11-8, 14-12), before the tables turned. Lee Hojin beat Andjela Menger (11-7, 11-4, 5-11, 4-11, 11-9); she was followed by Jung Dana who defeated Tijana Jokic (5-11, 8-11, 11-5, 11-9, 15-13) with Choi Yuna accounting for Sabina Surjan (11-8, 11-9, 11-8) to complete the fightback.

Surprise outcomes but not for the leading outfits, both from Chinese Taipei; representing Chinese Taipei ‘A’, Wen Rue-Ling, Tsai Yu-Chin and Su Pei-Ling duly topped their group as did the Chinese Taipei ‘B’ team trio of Chen Ying-Chen, Chen Ting-Ting and Lee Yu-Peng.

First place for the top seeds in the Junior Girls’ Team event, it was the same in the Cadet Girls’ Team competition where the combination of India’s Diya Parag Chitale and Russia’s Liubor Tentser secured top spot.

The Junior Girls’ team and Cadet Girls’ Team events conclude on Saturday 16th September.

World Junior Circuit Korea

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