by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Manager
In the final of the Cadet Boys’ Singles event he accounted for Tao Yuchang, also from China (11-4, 9-11, 11-3, 11-4), having at the semi-final stage beaten Belgium’s Adrien Rassenfosse (11.3, 11-3, 11-5). In the opposite half of the draw, Tao Yuchang reserved his place in the final courtesy of success against Kuang Li (11-9, 3-11, 6-11, 11-8, 11-8).
“It’s never easy to play against a friend; especially in a final. In addition, it is the first time that we have played against each other in an official competition. I was very focused on the serve and receive game because I thought that it is in this particular domain that I could make the difference. He changed his tactics in the second game but I quickly adapted in the third. In the final game I served a little longer and I managed to be more aggressive when receiving.” Xiang Peng
Hard earned success for Xiang Peng, it had been the same in the Cadet Boys’ Doubles final when partnering Kuang Li against Belgium’s Nicolas Degros and Adrien Rassenfosse (10-12, 11-8, 16-14, 11-5)
“We expected a tough match and that is what happened; when the Belgians had game points we managed to stay focused. We play together very often in national team and so we know each other very well. It’s one of our strengths!” Kuang Li
A most noteworthy effort from Xiang Peng; in the Cadet Girls’ Singles event, it was a quite outstanding performance from Yang Yiyun, likewise from China.
She beat Japan’s Kaho Akae at the semi-final stage in three straight games (11-6, 11-4, 11-3), prior to reserving the top step of the podium in a very similar manner by overcoming Germany’s Sophia Klee (11-6, 11-3, 11-5). In the counterpart penultimate round contest, Sophia Klee had overcome Sweden’s Rebecca Muskantor (11-6, 11-8, 14-12).
“I’m very happy with my performance. I am satisfied of this victory in the Cadet Girls’ Singles final and earlier reaching the Junior Girls’ Singles semi-final. My coach asked me to be a defender, because I am very small for my age. We tried in training, and I immediately liked it. I will still continue to develop a very aggressive forehand.” Yang Yiyun
Defeat for Kaho Akae but there was success, in harness with colleague Yukari Sugasawa, the duo accounted Rebecca Muskantor and Leah Tveit Muskantor (11-6, 11-8, 14-12).
Play concluded in Metz, next on the ITTF World Junior Circuit agenda is the 2018 Spanish Junior and Cadet Open. Play commences in Platja d’Aro on Wednesday 9th May.