01 Dec 2017

Korea’s Kim Byunghyeon and Kwak Yubin alongside Belgium’s Florian Cnudde and Laurens Devos emerged the surprise quarter-finalists in the Boys’ Doubles event at the 2017 ITTF World Junior Championships in Riva del Garda following success on Friday 1st December.

Meanwhile, in the counterpart Girls’ Doubles competition the pair to raise the eyebrows was that of Poland’s Julia Slazak and Anna Wegrzyn.

by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor

Kim Byunghyeon and Kwak Yubin, the no.22 seeds, caused a major first round upset by beating Romania’s Cristian Pletea and Rares Sipos, the no.5 seeds, by the very narrowest of five game margins (5-11, 14-12, , 8-11, 11-9, 13-11), before reserving their place in the last eight by overcoming the French combination of Irvin Bertrand and Leo de Nodrest. Once again, the full five games was needed to seal the victory (13-11, 12-14, 11-7, 4-11, 11-8).

Success against the odds for Kim Byunghyeon and Kwak Yubin; for Belgium’s Florian Cnudde and Laurens Devos, the no.17 seeds, their route was very different. They  benefitted from the absence of Chinese Taipei’s Li Hsin-Ying and Lin Yun-Ju, the no.3 seeds, the latter having been required to withdraw from the tournament owing to a shoulder injury.

The Belgian duo accounted for Italy’s Antonino Amato and Daniele Pinto, the no.20 seeds, in full distance five games duel (11-4, 11-4, 9-11, 6-11, 11-6) to book their quarter-final place, the pair who had received a first round walk-over against the Chinese Taipei partnership.

Surprise quarter-finalists but there were no surprises when the leading combinations were in question. China’s Wang Chuqin and Xue Fei, the top seeds, duly progressed unhindered as did colleagues, Niu Guankai and Xu Haidong, the no.2 seeds. Likewise, Japan’s Masaki Takami, the no.3 seeds, booked their last eight place.

Five games needed in the Junior Boys’ Doubles event in order to cause upsets, in the counterpart Girls’ Doubles it was very different. Julia Slazak and Anna Wegrzyn, who started proceedings as the no.20 seeds, accounted for Amy Wang and Crystal Wang of the United States, the no.8 seeds, in three straight games (11-7, 11-9, 11-6), before booking their quarter-final place in similar manner. They overcame Germany’s Franziska Schreiner and Jennie Wolf, the no.12 seeds (11-7, 11-9, 13-11).

Meanwhile, for the leading pairs in the Girls’ Doubles event, third round places were reserved. China’s Shi Xunyao and Sun Yingsha, the top seeds, duly progressed in style as did their colleagues, Qian Tianyi and Wang Manyu, the no.2 seed; likewise Romania’s Adina Diaconu and Andreea Dragoman, the no.4 seeds, secured their last eight place without great alarm.

However, for Japan’s Miyu Kato and Miyu Nagasaki, the no.3 seeds, life was much more testing. After accounting for Lucie Gauthier and Leili Mostafavi of France, the no.19 seeds in four games (8-11, 11-4, 11-7, 12-10), they needed the full five games to overcome Chinese Taipei’s Chen Ting-Ting and Su Pei-Ling, the no.10 seeds (11-7, 11-6, 14-16, 9-11, 11-9).

The quarter-finals and semi-finals will be played on Saturday 2nd November.

World Junior Championships 2017 World Junior Championships Laurens Devos Florian Cnudde Kwak Yubin Kim Byunghyeon

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Day 8 - 2017 World Junior Table Tennis Championships