by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Manager
Safely through the group phase of proceedings without the loss of a single individual match, the opening contest in the main draw did not start as planned; Zheng Beixun was beaten by Adrien Rassenfosse (11-9, 9-11, 11-4, 5-11, 14-12) in the fixture against Belgium.
However that was to prove the only Belgian success; Kuang Li overcame both Nicolas Degros (11-2, 9-11, 11-9, 11-5) and Adrien Rassenfosse (11-5, 11-5, 11-4), whilst sandwiched in between teaming with Zheng Beixun to secure the doubles (11-13, 9-11, 11-7, 11-3, 11-5).
A three-one quarter-final win, it was the same in the final against the French pairing of Myshaal Sabhi and Fabio Rakotoarimanana; the success arising after a three-one win had been posted in the penultimate round in opposition to Poland’s Maciej Kubik and Szymon Kolasa.
Once again Kuang Li proved the mainstay of victory. He accounted for Fabio Rakotoarimanana (11-7, 11-9, 11-4) and Myshaal Sabhi (11-2, 11-9, 9-11, 11-9), after having partnered Zheng Beixun to doubles success (11-8, 11-6, 11-9). The one win for France was recorded in the opening match of the engagement when Myshaal Sabhi defeated Zheng Beixun (8-11, 11-8, 13-11, 11-7).
Impressive from China, in the opposite half of the draw en route to the final, it had been equally impressive from Myshaal Sabhi and Fabio Rakotoarimanana. At the quarter-final stage they posted a three-nil win against Romania’s Andrei Tomica and Darius Movileanu, before recording a three-one semi-final success against India.
The player to cause the French problems was Payas Jain; in the second match of the engagement he beat Fabio Rakotoarimanana (11-6, 11-9, 11-6). However wins for Myshaal Sabhi against Deepi Patil (11-9, 11-9, 8-11, 12-14, 11-6) and in opposition to Payas Jain (8-11, 11-7, 5-11, 11-7, 11-9) plus a doubles success when facing Payas Jain and Dev Shroff (11-3, 12-10, 13-11) secured a place in the final.
Matters conclude on Sunday 18th February with play in the Cadet Boys’ Singles, Cadet Girls’ Singles, Cadet Boys’ Doubles and Cadet Girls’ Doubles events.