02 Aug 2018

Rarely troubled and never in serious danger, the Chinese trio comprising Liu Yebo, Niu Guankai and Xu Haidong won the Junior Boys’ Team title at the 2018 Hang Seng Hong Kong Junior and Cadet Open on Thursday 2nd August.

Safely through the group stage of proceedings, in the main draw it was only in the final when they experienced any challenge to their dominance.

by Ian Marshall, Editor

Facing the no.5 seeds, the combination of Chinese Taipei’s Huang Yu-Jen, alongside Japan’s Takeru Kashiwa and Aoto Asazu, as in the group stage Niu Guankai experienced problems when facing an adversary from the Land of the Rising Sun.

He concluded matters with the unwanted distinction of being the only member of the team to lose a match; he lost two.

In the initial phase of proceedings, he had suffered at the hands of Hiroto Shinozuka (11-8, 11-3, 4-11, 11-9) in a three-one overall win; in the final, after Xu Haidong had beaten Takeru Kashiwa (11-9, 11-1, 11-5), Niu Guankai experienced defeat when facing Aoto Asazu (13-11, 6-11, 11-5, 14-12).

However, later in the fixture he more than made amends, following the success of Liu Yebo in opposition to Huang Yu-Jen (9-11, 11-9, 11-6, 11-5), he brought matters to a conclusion by overcoming Takeru Kashiwa (11-3, 11-9, 11-6).

Earlier, the Chinese trio had recorded a three-nil win against the no.8 seeds, the Hong Kong ‘A’ outfit comprising Maurice Chong Kai Ning, Pau Yik Man and Su Zhi, before at the semi-final stage recording the same margin of victory when confronting, the no.7 seeds, the Chinese Taipei trio formed by Lin Yung-Chih, Tai Ming-Wei and Wei Cheng-Ting.

Meanwhile, in the opposite half of the draw, matters had advanced in a somewhat similar manner.

Huang Yu-Jen, Aoto Asazu and Takeru Kashiwa had claimed a three-nil win against the no.6 seeds, the latter’s colleagues, Haruki Harada, Hiroto Shozuka and Kazuki Hamada, before securing a place in the final in opposition to the no.3 seeds, the combination of Germany’s Meng Fanbo and Kay Stumper who joined forces with Frenchman, Dorian Zhang. A three-one success was the order of proceedings.

Matters over in the Junior Boys’ Team event, attention now turns to the individual events. Play concludes on Sunday 5th August.

World Junior Circuit 2018 Hong Kong Junior & Cadet Open Xu Haidong Niu Guankai Liu Yebo

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