by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Manager
In the Men’s Singles event Javen Choong accounted for Singapore’s Chua Josh Shao Han in the final (11-13, 11-9, 12-10, 11-8, 11-7), having in the immediate previous rounds caused major upsets; he beat Canada’s Jeremy Hazin, the no.2 seed (11-4, 11-8, 11-13, 11-8, 5-11, 10-12, 11-3) before ousting Hong Kong’s Cheng Pak Hei, the no.3 seed (6-11, 11-8, 8-11, 11-9, 11-9, 11-9) in the penultimate round.
“The first game of the match was very tough but after that I felt more comfortable playing my own game. I didn’t think I could win this tournament because the other matches earlier in the day were also very tough matches. I’m very happy that I was able to win and qualify for the Youth Olympic Games. Now I’m focused on playing well in the Thailand Junior and Cadet Thailand Open.” Javen Choong
Likewise, in the opposite half of the draw, Chua Josh Shao Han had caused a major upset; at the quarter-final stage he beat India’s Manav Vikash Thakkar, the top seed (11-5, 2-11, 5-11, 11-8, 11-9, 11-13, 11-8), prior to recording a semi-final success in opposition to Kazakhstan’s Aidos Kenzhigulov, the no.7 seed (15-13, 10-12, 13-15, 11-6, 11-9, 11-9). Notably one round earlier Aidos Kenzhigulov had ended the progress of Khaled Kader, the no.4 seed (11-9, 7-11, 12-10, 11-9, 11-6).
Somewhat unexpected from Javen Choong; it was the same in the Women’s Singles event from Choi Haeeun.
At the final hurdle she overcame India’s Archana Girish Kamath, the top seed (11-8, 11-7, 11-6, 14-12), having earlier beaten Iran’s Shima Safaei, the no.8 seed (7-11, 11-6, 11-6, 11-7) and Croatia’s Andrea Pavlovic, the no.2 seed (11-4, 11-5, 10-12, 8-11, 11-9, 11-3). In the opposite half of the draw Archana Girish Kamath had overcome Malaysia’s Tee Ai Xin, the no.7 seed (11-6, 9-11, 9-11, 8-11, 11-4, 12-10, 11-8) and Finland’s Annika Lindström (11-2, 8-11, 11-6, 11-7, 11-5) to reserve her place in the final.
“Before the tournament began, I was a little nervous and I thought it would be difficult to win, but my training was very good and I’m very happy with my play. I’m really looking forward to the Youth Olympic Games and hope that I can win a medal there.” Choi Haeeun
The second knock-out competition takes place on Tuesday 8th May.
Continental Tournaments – Qualifiers (as on Sunday 17th December)
Africa: Youssef Abdel Aziz (Egypt), Nathael Hamdoun (Tunisia)
Asia: Tomokazu Harimoto (Japan), Lin Yun-Ju (Chinese Taipei), Wang Chuqin (China), Cho Daeseong (Korea)
Europe: Ioannis Sgouropoulos (Greece), Vladimir Sidorenko (Russia), Medardas Stankievicius (Lithuania), Vladislav Urdu (Moldova)
Latin America: Nicolas Burgos (Chile), Guillerme Teodoro (Brazil)
North America: Kanak Jha (United States)
Oceania: Nathan Xu (New Zealand)
Africa: Esther Oribamise (Nigeria), Marwa Alhodaby (Egypt)
Asia: Miu Hirano (Japan), Sun Yingsha (China), Jinnipa Sawettabut (Thailand), Su Pei-Ling (Chinese Taipei)
Europe: Lucie Gauthier (France), Mariia Tailakova (Russia), Ning Jing (Azerbaijan), Nadezhda Bogdanova (Belarus)
Latin America: Adriana Diaz (Puerto Rico), Bruna Takahashi (Brazil)
North America: Amy Wang (United States)
Oceania: Vong Hui Ling (New Zealand)
Road to Buenos Series (as on Sunday 15th April)
Europe: Bastian Rembert (France), Cristian Pletea (Romania)
Africa: Yu Khinhang (Azerbaijan), Amin Ahmadian (Iran)
Latin America: Matteo Mutti (Italy), Yanapong Panagitgun (Thailand)
Asia: Javen Choong (Malaysia)
Europe: Andreea Dragoman (Romania), Lee Ka Yee (Hong Kong)
Africa: Tatiana Kukulkova (Slovakia), Sabina Surjan (Serbia)
Latin America: Jamila Laurenti (Italy), Goi Rui Xuan (Singapore)
Asia: Choi Haeeun (Korea Republic)