08 Jul 2018

Earlier this year on the ITTF World Junior Circuit, the runner up in the Czech Republic and a quarter-finalist in Sweden, in Taicang on Sunday 8th July, Japan’s Kakeru Sone, struck gold at 2018 China Junior and Cadet Open.

He won the Junior Boys' Singles title, the promise shown on his European travels was realised.

by Ian Marshall, Editor

Furthermore, at no stage of the competition was he ever extended the full distance; most notably on the concluding day of play, achieving what very few at any level have ever achieved, one after another he ended Chinese aspirations.

At the quarter-final stage, the no.4 seed, he beat Quan Kaiyuan, the no.5 seed (11-2, 11-4, 6-11, 11-7, 11-9), prior to overcoming Yuan Licen, the no.2 seed and winner earlier this year in Oman (11-6, 11-5, 11-7, 11-8) to book his place in the final where the good form was maintained.

In the title decider, he beat Liu Yebo (11-6, 2-11, 11-5, 12-10, 11-6); three Chinese players beaten on home soil; that’s an achievement in its own right, one in future years Kakeru Sone can tell his grandchildren!

No current world ranking, Liu Yebo was very much the surprise finalist; notably ousting colleagues in the later rounds. At the quarter-final stage he beat Kuang Li, the no.3 seed and winner in May in Thailand (11-6, 12-10, 12-14, 11-7, 12-10), prior to ending the hopes of Cao Yantao, the no.8 seed (8-11, 11-9, 11-4, 12-10, 4-11, 11-8).

Defeat for Cao Yantao but he could take solace in the fact that at the quarter-final stage, he overcame Iran’s Amin Ahmadian, the top seed and winner in March in Tunisia (11-9, 7-11, 13-11, 11-8, 13-11) to reserve his place in the penultimate round for the first time this in his career. On his two previous excursions this year, he had departed proceedings at the quarter-final stage in both the Czech Republic and Poland.

Play concluded in Taicang, attention now turns to the city of Amman; the 2018 Jordan Junior and Cadet Open commences on Wednesday 25th July.

World Junior Circuit 2018 China Junior & Cadet Open Kakeru Sone

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