by Wade Townsend
At the day’s end, either Niu Guankai or Feng Yi-Hsin will be standing on top of the podium in Suva.
Niu defeated Csaba Andras 4-1 in an entertaining final. With two games decided by just two points, Andras had his chances, and even made a late final push in the fifth game that almost saw him sneak the match to a sixth game. But Niu had other plans. China already has lost their grip on a world title this month, and you can be sure he isn’t going to let them let another slip.
Meanwhile Feng Yi-Hsin moved through teammate Park Gyeongtae with remarkable ease. Park was left scrambling for answers as Feng won in straight games 11-5, 11-1, 11-7, 11-7.
The result means that both finalists are undefeated this week in Vodafone Arena. But in a few hours time that is all about to change as one will be crowned World Cadet Challenge Champion.
Either way it will be Team Asia that takes home the title.
Past champions of the event include Zhang Jike, Ma Long, Xu Xin and Kenta Matsudaira. The winner today will soon find themselves in illustrious company.
Niu Guankai will go in to the final clear favourite. He recently earned himself a place in the Chinese national senior team, and seems bursting with confidence. Niu has physically dominated the table and shown a noticeable maturity in his game as he progressed to gold in the Teams Event and today’s singles final. The no.1 seed is simply playing beyond his years compared to his peers in Suva.
Feng Yi-Hsin will have to go for broke if he is going to be champion. Can his silky smooth forehand penetrate Niu’s killer counter forehand?
Be sure to tune in to find out.