11 Oct 2018

Responding when the occasion warranted, China’s Wang Chuqin and Sun Yingsha emerged gold medallists in the respective Men’s Singles and Women’s Singles events at the Buenos Aires 2018 Youth Olympic Games. They were not the top seeds, in order to achieve the feat they had to upset the ranked order.

Now, again they face a similar task, in the Mixed International Team event, which commences on Friday 12th October, together, they are the no.4 seeds.

by Ian Marshall, Editor

It is a listing that predicts they are marginal outsiders; not at all, they are the favourites.

The wins secured by Japan’s Tomokazu Harimoto and Miu Hirano in the past 18 months over China’s elite, suggested that they could well be the players to stand on the top step of the podium when the fourth day of play concluded. They had enjoyed successes that Wang Chuqin and Sun Yingsha could not match; it was not to happen, when the questions were asked the Chinese teenagers held the answers.

Hard fought finals but there were no great moments of drama. There was no magic formula, no magic wand that brought success; quite simply their basic techniques are so good, so perfect that when crisis looms they did not wilt; furthermore, they could adapt to any situation and follow the plan of action detailed by their respective coaches to the letter.

Now, in the Mixed Team event, Tomokazu Harimoto and Miu Hirano, equally technically assured, the top seeds, must find answers, just as in the Men’s Singles and Women’s Singles events did Wang Chuqin and Sun Yingsha.

Pertinently, en route to the final in the Men’s Singles event only Chinese Taipei’s Lin Yun-Ju posed a real threat to Tomokazu Harimoto, for Miu Hirano there was no threat at all.

Judging by past performances, the Tomokazu Harimoto and Miu Hirano, alongside Wang Chuqin and Sun Yingsha are clear of the field. It puts immense pressure the shoulders of Chinese Taipei’s Lin Yun-Jun and Su Pei-Ling, the no.2 seeds in their quest for honours, as it does on the European pairing of Sweden’s Truls Moregard and Serbia’s Sabina Surjan, the no.3 seeds.

All four outfits are favourites to top their respective groups; unless there is a shock defeat which I cannot foresee, the draw for the second stage will attract more attention than usual.

There is the possibility of China and Japan in the same half!

Buenos Aires 2018 Youth Olympic Games Tomokazu Harimoto Sun Yingsha Miu Hirano Wang Chuqin

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Day 9 - Buenos Aires 2018 Youth Olympic Games