28 Jul 2018

A quarter-finalist earlier in the year in Poland, beaten in round two in France, Chinese Taipei’s Li Hsin-Yang won the Junior Boys’ Singles title at the 2018 Jordan Junior and Cadet Open in Amman on Friday 27th July.

Success but it was not without some moments of trials and tribulations.

by Ian Marshall, Editor

The top seed, he needed six games to beat India’s Manush Utpalbhai Shah, the no.5 seed, in the final (11-8, 11-8, 4-11, 6-11, 13-11, 11-3), having earlier in the day experienced few problems en route to the title deciding contest.

At the quarter-final stage he beat China’s Xu Hao in five games (11-9, 16-18, 11-6, 12-10, 11-2), a player new to the international scene and with no world ranking, prior to reserving his place in the final courtesy of a straight games success in opposition to India’s Anukram Jain, the no.14 seed (11-2, 11-6, 11-3, 12-10).

One wonders if Li Hsin-Yang is set to follow in the footsteps of colleague Chuang Chih-Yuan. In 2002 in Stockholm, Chuang Chih-Yuan won the Men’s Singles title at the ITTF World Tour Grand Finals, before he ever won at an ITTF World Tour tournament.

It is not that dissimilar for Li Hsin-Yang. He won Boys’ Singles title at the ITTF World Junior Circuit Finals staged in Indore, India in early 2017. Now in Amman, he has won his first ever Boys’ Singles title at an ITTF World Junior Circuit tournament. A landmark win; his previous best was in Varazdin in 2016, when beaten in the final by Ioannis Sgouropoulos of Greece, the player who earlier this week retained his Junior Boys’ Singles title at the 2018 European Youth Championships.

Meanwhile, for Manush Utpalbhai Shah, who accounted for colleague Payas Jain, the 13 seed (11-9, 11-3, 11-9, 8-11, 11-6) and Iran’s Amin Ahmadian, the no.2 seed (11-6, 11-7, 11-3, 11-5) to reserve his place in the final, it was his second career ITTF World Junior Circuit runners up spot and his second of the day.

In 2016 in on home soil in India he was beaten in the final by colleague Manav Vikash Thakkar; in Amman partnering Jeet Chandra it was defeat in the Junior Boys’ Doubles title deciding contest. The duo suffered in four games when facing Amin Ahmadian and Iranian colleague, Amirreza Abbasi (9-11, 11-6, 11-8, 11-8).

The individual events finished; attention now turns to the team competitions. Play concludes on Sunday 29th July.

World Junior Circuit 2018 Jordan Junior & Cadet Open Li Hsin-Yang

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