11 Feb 2018

Success for Thailand’s Jinnipa Sawettabut, at no.23 on the current Under 18 Girls’ World Rankings, the highest listed female player on duty, but as the finalists at the 2018 Oman Junior and Cadet Open in Muscat, were decided on the morning of Sunday 11th February, the name of China was very much to the fore.

Zhang Binyue awaits the Thai teenager in the final; in the title deciding Junior Boys’ Singles contest, Xu Haidong confronts Yuan Licen.

by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor

After accounting for Egypt’s Hana Goda (11-5, 11-8, 14-12, 11-5), Jinnipa Sawettabut overcame Egypt’s Farida Badawy (11-6, 11-9, 11-5, 11-7). In the opposite half of the draw Zhang Binyue reserved her place in the final courtesy of success in opposition to team mate Zang Xiaotong (11-2, 5-11, 11-6, 8-11, 11-6, 11-4); at the quarter-final stage she had ousted India’s Swastika Ghosh (7-11, 11-9, 7-11, 11-8, 11-9, 9-11, 11-5).

Hard fought contests but the engagements in the latter stages of the Junior Boys’ Singles event were even more intense, the level of play quite breath-taking with Iran’s Amin Ahmadian the young man to catch the eye. He beat China’s Liang Yanning (11-9, 12-10, 8-11, 11-7, 3-11, 9-11, 11-8) before losing to Xu Haidong (13-11, 11-5, 11-5, 10-12, 11-6).

Impressive from Xu Haidong, who like Yu Licen had earlier ended Egyptian hopes. At the quarter-final stage he beat Ammar Attia (11-2, 11-1, 11-2, 11-7), at the same time Yuan Licen accounted for Ziad Elshawa (11-3, 11-4, 11-8, 11-2). A semi-final place reserved; Yuan Licen overcame colleague, Quan Kaiyuan (6-11, 11-9, 12-10, 12-10, 8-11, 11-7) to book his place in the final.

Likewise as matters advanced to the final of the Cadet Boys’ Singles event, it was also Iran that impressed. Radim Khayyan dented China’s aspirations by overcoming Li Haoteng (11-2, 8-11, 13-11, 13-11), prior to experiencing defeat at the hands of Xiang Peng, also from China (11-5, 11-8, 11-9). In the final, colleague, Xiong Mengyang awaits; at the quarter-final stage he beat Sweden’s Linus Keraenen (11-9, 11-8, 11-5) prior to recording a penultimate round success in opposition to compatriot, Tao Yuchang (8-11, 11-4, 11-8, 6-11, 11-7).

Meanwhile, an all-Chinese Cadet Girls’ Singles semi-final witnessed success for Kuia Man and Li Yuqi; the former accounted for Liu Xingchi (11-13, 16-14, 11-8, 11-6), the latter for Ma Xinyue (11-8, 17-15, 11-8).

Finalists decided, it is the same in the Hopes events; in the Boys’ Singles competition, Iran’s Mohammad Amin Samadi meets Yemen’s Ebrahim Abdulhakim Gubran in the final; in the Girls’ Singles title decider, India’s Suhana Saini plays Egypt’s Hana Goda.

All finals will be played later in the day.

World Junior Circuit 2018 Oman Junior & Cadet Open Xu Haidong Jinnipa Sawettabut Yuan Licen Zhang Binyue

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