07 Feb 2018

Success by narrow margins, full distance five match contests brought the opening day of play in both the Junior Boys’ Team and Junior Girls’ Team events to a close at the 2018 Oman Junior and Cadet Open in Muscat on the late evening of Wednesday 7th February.

Iran and India emerged the beneficiaries, the wins somewhat contrary to expectations.

by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor

In the Junior Boys’ Team event, Iran ‘B’, the no.8 seeds, represented by Ali Akbar Shoari and Aryan Ghaffari beat Sweden’s Oskar Danielsson and Jens Holmqvist, the no.5 seeds and thus booked their place in the main draw.

Hero of the hour was Aryan Ghaffari, the score in the fixture level at two matches apiece; he accounted for Jens Holmqvist (11-4, 11-4, 10-12, 11-8).

Earlier in the day both outfits had experienced defeats at the hands of China’s Xu Haidong, Yuan Licen and Quan Kaiyuan; teams finishing in first and second places advanced to the main draw, thus for the Swedes it was the end of the road.

First place for China, it was the same for the other leading outfits in the Junior Boys’ Team event as play concluded. Iran ‘A’ fielding Amin Ahmadian and Amirreza Abbasi, the top seeds, duly topped their group. Likewise, it was pole position for the combination of Thailand’s Yanapong Panagitgun and Marwan Abdelwahab, the no.2 seeds as it was for Jordan’s Hasan Alhourani and Khaled Khader, the no.4 seeds.

Meanwhile, in the counterpart Junior Girls’ Team competition organised on a group basis, India’s Swatstika Ghosh and Varuni Jaiswal, the no.3 seeds, overcame the combination of the Czech Republic’s Martina Novakova and Thailand’s Jinnipa Sawettabut, having earlier in the day experienced a three-nil defeat when facing the Chinese combination of Qian Tianyi, Guo Yuhan and Zhang Binyue.

Jinnipa Sawettabut accounted for Varuni Jaiswal (11-4, 7-11, 11-7, 9-11, 11-2) and Swastika Ghosh (11-8, 11-6, 11-2) but that was to be the sum total of her team’s success; the doubles loss in the third match of the fixture proving crucial (11-9, 12-10, 12-10).

Martina Novakova and Jinnipa Sawettabut meet China in their concluding fixture.

Play in both the Junior Boys’ Team and Junior Girls’ Team events concludes on Thursday 8th February.

World Junior Circuit 2018 Oman Junior & Cadet Open Oskar Danielsson Jens Holmqvist Aryan Ghaffari Ali Akbar Shoari

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