21 Sep 2018

Winner of the Cadet Boys’ Singles title just over one month ago at the Asian Junior and Cadet Championships in Myanmar; on Thursday 20th September, China’s Zeng Beixun climbed to the next level.

The 15 year old won the Junior Boys’ Singles event at the 2018 Serbia Junior and Cadet Open in Belgrade to collect his second title on this year’s ITTF World Junior Circuit; earlier this year in February he had partnered Kuang Li to Cadet Boys’ Team success in the Czech Republic.

by Ian Marshall, Editor

Listed at no.9 on the current Under 15 Boys’ World Rankings but not named on the Under 18 list, at the final hurdle Zeng Beixun accounted for Thailand’s Yanapong Panagitgun, the no.2 seed (9-11, 12-10, 11-8, 11-5, 4-11, 11-5), for the second time this year the silver medallist. In April he had experienced the same fate in Paraguay.

Earlier, en route to the final on the second day of action, Zeng Beixun had beaten India’s Payas Jain, the no.13 seed (11-5, 7-11, 11-7, 12-10, 4-11, 12-10), followed by success against Singapore’s Pang Yew En Koen, the top seed (11-5, 7-11, 11-8, 12-10, 11-7) and Belgium’s Olav Kosolosky, the no.7 seed (11-6, 11-9, 11-8, 11-6). A penultimate round place reserved, he experienced his toughest test of the day.

Facing Manush Utpalbhai Shah, the no.3 seed and like Payas Jain from India, Zeng Beixun lost the first three games before recovering to win four in a row (6-11, 5-11, 10-12, 11-7, 13-11, 11-7, 11-6) to reserve his place in the final.

A long an exacting journey, it was the same for Yanapong Panagitgun. He accounted for India’s Akash Pal (11-8, 11-7, 13-11, 11-4), before overcoming Belgium’s David Comeliau, the no.9 seed (11-9, 8-11, 11-8, 11-2, 11-6) and China’s Dong Haoyu (13-11, 11-8, 5-11, 11-6, 11-8) to secure his semi-final berth. Good form and it was maintained; just as Zeng Beixun needed seven games to reserve his place in the title decider, so did Yanapong Panagitun; eventually he ended the hopes of Singapore’s Josh Chua Shao Han, the no.4 seed (4-11, 10-12, 11-4, 10-12, 11-4, 11-9, 11-4).

Silver for Yanapong Panagitgun in the Junior Boys’ Singles competition; partnering Singapore’s Gerald Yu Zong Jun, it was Junior Boys’ Doubles gold. At the final hurdle the pair beat India’s Anukram Jain and Deepit Patil to secure the title (9-11, 11-4, 11-7, 4-11, 11-8).

The Junior Boys’ Singles and Junior Boys’ Doubles events completed, attention now turns to the Junior Boys’ Team and Cadet Boys’ Team competitions; play concludes in Belgrade on Sunday 23rd September.

World Junior Circuit 2018 Serbia Junior & Cadet Open Zeng Beixun

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