13 Oct 2018

Gold medallist in the Men’s Singles event two days earlier, Wang Chuqin maintained his unbeaten record at the Buenos Aires 2018 Youth Olympic Games but as play came to a close on the evening of Friday 12th October, he came perilously close to defeat.

China, the no.4 seeds, facing Italy, the no.16 seeds, after Sun Yingsha had beaten Jamila Laurenti in three straight games (11-4, 11-7, 11-4), Wang Chuqin was stretched the full distance by Matteo Mutti, only gaining success by a narrow margin in the decider (11-4, 8-11, 11-7, 9-11, 11-8).

by Ian Marshall, Editor

It was arguably the toughest examination that Wang Chuqin has experienced in the whole tournament. Certainly it was a wake-up call for China, the doubles was secured in emphatic manner (11-3, 11-3, 11-2).

Success for China, likewise playing their second fixture of the day, there was success for the other leading outfits.

Japan’s Tomokazu Harimoto and Miu Hirano, the top seeds, recorded a three-nil win against Singapore’s Pang Yew En Koen and Goi Rui Xuan; likewise the combination of Sweden’s Truls Moregard and Serbia’s Sabina Surjan, the no.3 seeds, succeed by the same margin of victory in opposition to the partnership formed by Austria’s Maciej Kolodziejczyk and Poland’s Anna Wegzyn, he no.13 seeds.

However, for Chinese Taipei’s Lin Yun-Ju and Su Pei-Ling the no.2 seeds, against the European combination of Ioannis Sgouroploulos of Greece and Nadezhda Bogdanova of Belarus, the no.14 seeds, life was more exacting. They did not make the best of starts. Su Pei-Ling was beaten by Nadezhda Bogdanova (11-9, 6-11, 12-10, 11-9), before Lin Yun-Ju overcame Ioannis Sgouroploulos (11-4, 11-4, 11-3) and a doubles success (9-11, 11-9, 11-5, 11-5) secured a two matches to one victory.

Eventually for the leading outfits it was success as predicted but as the day closed, there were upsets.

The Korea Republic duo of Cho Daeseong and Choi Haeeun, the no.30 seeds, recorded a three-nil win in opposition to the partnership formed by Argentina’s Martin Bentancor and Croatia’s Andrea Pavlovic, the no.18 seeds; similarly Jean Mari Nayre of the Philippines and Finland’s Annika Lundstrom, the no.29 seeds, recorded a two matches to one success against the pairing of Tunisia’s Nathael Hamdoun and Hong Kong’s Lee Ka Yee, the no.17 seeds.

“I never played with him before but I think from this morning’s match and this match, I think we played quite well together, so it’s nice to play with him. He plays really aggressive. It’s nice to play with someone from another country and culture. It’s just fun for me to make new friends. Buenos Aires has been amazing for me, it’s so nice just being able to play here and experience everything, watch other sports and meet so many different athletes.” Annika Lundstrom,

Likewise, the DPR Korea pairing of Kim Song Gun and Pyon Song Gyong, the no.32 seeds, upset the order of merit by overcoming the European partnership of Lithuania’s Medardas Stankievicuis and the Czech Republic’s Zdena Blaskova. The DPR Korea pair recorded a three-nil win.

Teams finishing in first and second positions in each group qualify for the main draw; unbeaten throughout the day having recorded two wins, Tomokazu Harimoto and Miu Hirano alongside Cho Daeseong and Choi Haeeun are guaranteed progress to the second stage. It is the same scenario for Truls Moregard and Sabina Surjan in the same group as Kim Song Gun and Pyon Song Gyong.

Play in the initial stage of the Mixed Team event concludes on Saturday 13th October

Buenos Aires 2018 Youth Olympic Games Matteo Mutti

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Day 9 - Buenos Aires 2018 Youth Olympic Games