by Ian Marshall, Editor
Not only did he collect his second crown of the year; in the Taipei Gymnasium, he completed a clean sweep of titles available.
Earlier in the week alongside Feng Yi-Hsin and Tai Ming-Wei, he had struck gold in the Junior Boys’ Team event; on the concluding day of action, he partnered the former to Junior Boys’ Doubles success. At the final hurdle, the duo accounted for Japan’s Atsuhiro Horikawa and Hiromu Kobayashi (7-11, 11-9, 12-10, 10-12, 11-7) to reserve the top step of the podium.
Success against Atsuhiro Horikawa, earlier in the day the pair had met at the quarter-final stage of the Junior Boys’ Singles event with Li Hsin-Yang prevailing in straight games (11-4, 11-3, 11-9, 11-5). An imposing performance, in the penultimate round Li Hsin-Yang maintained his form; he ended the adventures of colleague, Huang Yu-Jen (11-5, 12-10, 11-8, 11-7), the shock quarter-final winner in opposition to Japan’s Takeru Kashiwa, the no.4 seed (11-8, 7-11, 7-11, 11-7, 11-4, 6-11, 11-6).
Notably neither Atsuhiro Horikawa nor Huang Yu-Jen possess a current world ranking; to reach the main draw, let alone the later rounds, they had excelled all expectations. They started the tournament as the fourth and lowest ranked players in their respective groups.
Straight games wins in the quarter and semi-final rounds for Li Hsin-Yang; for Pang Yew En Koen, life was somewhat more testing. He beat Chinese Taipei’s Tai Ming-Wei, the no.5 seed and winner last week in El Salvador (11-5, 5-11, 11-9, 10-12, 11-7, 11-9), prior to ending the progress of Iran’s Amirreza Abbasi, the no.8 seed (11-7, 7-11, 11-2, 11-5, 8-11, 11-8). Notably one round earlier, Amirreza Abbasi had accounted for Chinese Taipei’s Feng Yi-Hsin, the top seed, in a quite dramatic seven games contest decided by the minimal two point margin (13-11, 5-11, 6-11, 11-6, 8-11, 11-9, 12-10).
The third step of the podium for Iran in the Junior Boys’ Singles event; in the Cadet Boys’ Singles competition it was the top step. Radin Khayyam, the no.4 seed, after accounting for Belgium’s Adrien Rassenfosse, the top seed (9-11, 11-8, 11-3, 11-6) overcame Korea Republic’s Jung Seongwan, the no.13 seed (11-3, 11-6, 8-11, 5-11, 11-4) and Japan’s 11 year old Sora Matsushima, the no.24 seed (4-11, 11-9, 11-5, 11-9) to secure the title.
In the adjacent half of the draw, in the later rounds, Sora Matsushima had ended the hopes of Chinese Taipei. He beat Tsai Kai-Cheng, the no.12 seed (11-9, 11-6, 11-7) and Wang Guan-Ru, the no.16 seed (11-8, 11-7, 11-13, 11-5) to book his final place. The win in opposition to Wang Guan-Ru was most creditable; one round earlier he had accounted for Iran’s Navid Shams, the no.3 seed (11-1, 4-11, 11-6, 14-12).
Titles for Chinese Taipei and Iran for former there was further success. In the Cadet Boys’ Doubles competition, it was gold and silver. Huang Yan-Cheng and Li Hsin-Yu beat Tsai Kai-Cheng and Tsai Li-Yang (13-11, 11-5, 11-6) to secure the top prize.