11 Feb 2018

Success in all four team events at the 2018 Oman Junior and Cadet Open earlier in the week; on Sunday 11th February, the closing day of action in Muscat, China added a further four titles to their tally.

Yuan Licen and Zhang Binyue won the respective Junior Boys’ Singles and Junior Girls’ Singles events, the wins coming after Xiang Peng and Li Yuqi had emerged as the Cadet Boys’ Singles and Cadet Girls’ Singles champions.

by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Manager

An all Chinese final witnessed success for Yuan Licen by the very narrowest of margins against Xu Haidong (11-5, 5-11, 11-8, 11-13, 13-11, 9-11, 11-9) in a contest that ebbeded and flowed.

However, one wondered if Yuan Licen had spurned his chance, leading two games to one, he led 10-8 and 11-10 in the fourth but was unable to convert. Equally in the seventh game, it seemed he was in danger of losing the advantage. He led 7-5, but then lost the next three points, promptly he called “Time Out”, he levelled before at 10-9 holding match point and duly converting.

Tension, victory by the very narrowest of margins, for Zhang Binyue life was less exacting; she accounted for Thailand’s Jinnipa Sawettabut in five games (11-7, 11-8, 11-4, 9-11, 11-5).

Overall, Zhang Binyue held the aces at the crucial time, she proved too consistent playing in a very safe manner; time and again the first attack was loaded with top spin; it put Jinnipa Sawettabut under pressure and into the passive role.

Success for Yuan Licen in an all Chinese final; it was the same for Li Yuqi and for Xiang Peng but in much more comfortable circumstances; straight games verdicts were the order the day.

Lin Yuqi beat Kuai Man (11-8, 12-10, 11-5), the crucial phase of the contest being the second game where at one stage Li Yuqi led 10-4, before taking a “Time Out” at 10-8 and eventually succeeding.

A nervous moment for Li Yuqi; there were no such travails for Xiang Peng, a forehand top spin at every possible opportunity and victory against Xiong Mengyang was secured (11-6, 11-4, 11-7).

Impressive from China; once again technical excellence shone.

World Junior Circuit 2018 Oman Junior & Cadet Open Xiang Peng Yuan Licen Li Yuqi Zhang Binyue

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