by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Manager
Xu Haidong, Yuan Licen and Quan Kaiyuan set the tone by recording a three matches to nil success in opposition to the combination of Egypt’s Marwan Abdelwahab and Thailand’s Yanapong Panagitgun; the one ray of home being in the opening contest when Marwan Abdelwahab extracted the second game from Xu Haidong.
However, there was to be no upset, Xu Haidong pressed the accelerator, to give China the ideal start (11-7, 9-11, 11-4, 11-4). Yuan Licen, a young man with hand of gold and a quick-fire forehand accounted for Yanapong Panagitgun (11-8, 11-9, 11-4) before partnering Quan Kaiyuan to doubles success (11-9, 11-9, 11-8).
Similarly, in their concluding contest in the Junior Girls’ Team event, a competition organised on an all-play-all group basis, the trio formed by Guo Yuhan, Qian Tianyi and Zhang Binyue recorded a similarly impressive three-nil win in opposition to the partnership comprising the Czech Republic’s Martina Novakova and Thailand’s Jinnipa Sawettabut.
Third place was the eventual lot of Martina Novakova and Thailand’s Jinnipa Sawettabut; the previous evening they had experienced a three-two defeat against India’s Swastika Ghosh and Varuni Jaiswal, the eventual silver medallists.
Three matches to nil successes for China, it was the same in the finals of each of the Cadet Boys’ Team and Cadet Girls’ Team competitions.
In the former the combination of Xiang Peng and Xiong Mengyang overcame India’s Jash Amit Modi and Hrishikesh Malhotra; in the latter Li Yuqi, Kuai Man and Ma Xinyue accounted for the outfit comprising Egypt’s Farida Badawy and Malamentina Papadimitiou of Greece.
The team events concluded and did anyone notice? The Chinese Junior Girls’ Team were not present for whatever reason at the presentation ceremony; the Cadet Girls’ Team substituted. Wonder if they will be able to keep the medals for both events?