23 Sep 2018

Gold medallists one day earlier, India’s Payas Jain alongside China’s Ding Zige and Li Zeyan added to their list of titles at the 2018 Serbia Junior and Cadet Open in Belgrade on Sunday 23rd September.

Payas Jain won the Cadet Boys’ Singles event; Li Zeyan secured the counterpart Cadet Girls’ Singles title. Meanwhile, Ding Zige joined forces with compatriot Zhang Yunhan to be crowned Cadet Girls’ Doubles champions.

by Ian Marshall, Editor

Partnering Vishwa Deenadayalan, Payas Jain had won the Cadet Boys’ Team title; in the Cadet Boys’ Doubles event they joined forces once again and came within a whisker of a second gold. They were beaten the final by China’s Liu Shuanghao and Xu Haotian by the very narrowest of five game decisions (12-10, 9-11, 11-9, 3-11, 11-9).

However, for Payas Jain in the Cadet Boys’ Singles event it was very different. In the later rounds he accounted for China’s Li Zhenlong (11-9, 11-8, 8-11, 11-4) and colleague Divyansh Srivastava (11-8, 11-9, 8-11, 13-15, 11-4) to secure his place in the final, where the good form was maintained. He beat Tian Chufan, like Li Zhenlong from China, to reserve the top step of the podium (11-8, 11-6, 11-7).

In the opposite half of the draw, for Vishwa Deenadayalan, life had been somewhat different; at the quarter-final stage he had experienced defeat at the hands of Tian Chufan (11-9, 2-11, 11-7, 11-5), who duly reserved his place in the final courtesy of success in opposition to Adaish Om Chhetri, also from India (11-8, 9-11, 12-10, 11-6).

A straight games success for Payas Jain in the gold medal contest in the Cadet Girls’ Singles final, the outcome was much closer, decided by the minimal two point margin in the deciding fifth game. After accounting for Malamatenia Papadimitriou of Greece (11-8, 11-6, 11-8) and India’s Kavya Sree Baskar (11-1, 11-2, 11-5); eventually Li Zeyan overcame for Poland’s Zhao Ziyi (10-12, 11-1, 11-7, 7-11, 11-9) to claim the top prize.

Impressively in the opposite half of the draw, Zhao Ziyi had beaten Ding Zige at the quarter-final stage (5-11, 11-9, 11-5, 13-11), prior to recording a penultimate round success against Croatia’s Hana Arapovic (11-5, 9-11, 11-8, 11-8).

Disappointment for Ding Zige but there was success to add to the Cadet Girls’ Team gold won in harness with Li Zeyan the previous day; she partnered colleague Zhang Yunhan to Cadet Girls’ Doubles success, the pairing accounting for India’s Anargya Manjunath and Lakshita Narang in the final (11-5, 11-6, 11-6).

Play in Belgrade concluded, the next destination on the 2018 ITTF World Junior Circuit is Sharm El-Sheik; the 2018 Egypt Junior and Cadet Open commences on Wednesday 24th October.

World Junior Circuit 2018 Serbia Junior & Cadet Open Payas Jain Li Zeyan Ding Zige

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