16 Sep 2017

An exciting generation of young players on view, very much new to the international scene, Korea stole the show in the first stage of the Junior Boys’ Team event at the 2017 Croatia Junior and Cadet Open in Varazdin on Friday 15th September.

Korea ‘A’ represented by Yang Yechan, Jang Seongil and Bak Taehong; alongside their colleagues the Korea ‘B’ team trio of Lee Gihun, Kim Minsu and Kim Taehyun both upset the order of merit to finish in first places in their respective groups; a competition in which only the outfits finishing at the top of the order advanced to the main draw.

by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor

Pride of place went to Korea ‘A’; in the crucial contest they beat the top seeded combination formed by Iran’s Amin Ahmadian who lined up alongside the United States duo of Gal Alguetti and Kanak Jha.

Amin Ahmadian beat both Jang Seongil (11-5, 7-11, 11-7, 7-11, 11-4) and Yang Yechan (11-5, 15-13, 11-4) but the significant result came in the third match of the fixture when Kanak Jha, the winner one day earlier of the Junior Boys’ Singles event, was beaten in straight games by Bak Taehong (12-10, 15-13, 11-4). Gal Alguetti suffered against both Yang Yechan (11-6, 8-11, 11-7, 11-3) and in the vital fifth and deciding match of the fixture when opposing Jang Seongil (11-5, 11-8, 12-10).

Impressive from Yang Yechan, Jang Seongil and Bak Taehong; it was the same from Lee Gihun, Kim Minsu and Kim Taehyun; they remained unbeaten to secure pole position in their group, the significant success being a three-nil win in opposition to Belgium’s Nicholas Degros, Adrien Rassenfosse and Quentin Jacques, the no.10 seeds.

Success for Korea ‘B’ but it was short lived; in one of two first round fixtures required, a three-nil defeat was experienced in opposition to the eighth seeded French trio formed by Vincent Picard, Florian Bourrassaud and Jules Cavaille. In the one other first round contest, Slovakia ‘A’ represented by Stefan Peko, Jakub Zelinka and Daniel Orac, the ninth seeds, beat the seventh seeded Argentina ‘A’ team of Francisco Sanchi, Santiago Tolosa and Leandro Fuentes, also by the three-nil margin.

Two surprise first places and there was one more, the Russian trio of Artem Doynikov, Maksim Grebnev and Pavel Linev maintained an unblemished record to finish in first place in their group, the result to impress being a three-nil win in opposition to the sixth seeded outfit formed by Thailand’s Yanapong Panagitgun, Portugal’s Vitor Amorin and England’s Kwan Wing.

Otherwise, it was top spot for the favourites. Notably, Italy, the no.2 seeds with Matteo Mutti, Carlo Rossi and Gabriele Piccolin on duty topped their group as did the next two teams in the order of merit. Germany with Cédric Meissner, Meng Fanbo and Kay Stumper in action enjoyed a successful day, as did Brazil’s Carlos Ishida, Guilherme Teodorond Siddharta Almeida.

Defeat for the top seeds in the first stage of the Junior Boys’ Team event, not in the counterpart Cadet Boys’ Team competition where Russia’s Vladislav Makarov and Sergey Ryzhov duly finished in first place.

Play in the Junior Boys’ Team and Cadet Boys’ Team events conclude on Saturday 16th September.

World Junior Circuit Korea

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