16 Oct 2018

Gold medallists five days earlier in the respective Men’s Singles and Women’s Singles events, on the concluding day of play, Monday 15th October, at the Buenos Aires 2018 Youth Olympic Games, China’s Wang Chuqin and Sun Yingsha added to their collection of titles.

However, the success was not without moments of trepidation, the no.4 seeds, they were extended the full three match distance by Japan’s Tomokazu Harimoto and Miu Hirano, the top seeds; the win coming after Chinese Taipei’s Lin Yun-Ju and Su Pei-Ling, the no.2 seeds, had clinched the bronze medal in a contest that witnessed an even closer finish when eventually overcoming the combination of Sweden’s Truls Moregard and Serbia’s Sabina Surjan, the no.3 seeds.

by Ian Marshall, Editor

Beaten in the Men’s Singles final by Wang Chuqin (11-9, 5-11, 11-1, 13-11, 11-9), there was revenge for Tomokazu Harimoto; after Miu Hirano had come within a whisker of overcoming Sun Yingsha in the fourth game of the opening engagement (11-4, 7-11, 7-11, 15-13, 11-1), Tomokazu Harimoto accounted for Wang Chuqin in four games (9-11, 11-7, 12-10, 11-3).

“He changed some of his tactics and strategies that were not within my expectation, I wasn’t able to handle and adapt to the changes, I didn’t play well.” Wang Chuqin

Great credit must be paid to Tomokazu Harimoto for the way in which he responded; not only the fact that he avenged the Men’s Singles defeat, also earlier in the day he had been beaten by Truls Moregard (4-11, 11-9, 11-9, 11-9). A splendid effort and in the doubles a brave response; a four games result was the outcome in favour of China (11-8, 11-6, 12-14, 11-5).

We will never know but had Miu Hirano won that vital fourth game against Sun Yingsha would Japan not China now be celebrating gold?

“I had expected that I will have to play all five games against Hirano. I was even prepared to lose, because she lost the previous encounter here, I knew she will go all out to challenge me today. She played really well but when she made a fault service at 9-7 in the fourth game, I knew I still had a chance to come back because I could tell that she was eager to win at that point. I think at the crucial moments of the match, I was still more firm and determined than her.” Sun Yingsha

The doubles needed to determine the champions; it was the same in the bronze medal contest, the verdict determined by the closest possible finish. Lin Yun-Ju and Su Pei-Ling beat Truls Moregard and Sabina Surjan by the very narrowest of five game margins (11-13, 11-7, 11-7, 3-11, 13-11).

A dramatic conclusion, the success coming after Sabina Surjan had beaten Su Pei-Ling (11-9, 14-12, 11-8) and Lin Yun-Ju, the backbone of his team’s success in Buenos Aires, had accounted for the in-form Truls Moregard (10-12, 12-10, 17-15, 11-5).

Bronze for Lin Yun-Ju was well-merited, after having missed out on a medal in the Men’s Singles event when, in the third place match losing to Kanak Jha of the United States (6-11, 11-7, 13-11, 11-3, 8-11, 4-11, 11-9); for Sun Yingsha, she ended the tournament as the only unbeaten player.

Once again as four years ago in Nanjing when Fan Zhendong and Liu Gaoyang prevailed, it was success for China but in Buenos Aires it was much closer, the gap was minimal.

Buenos Aires 2018 Youth Olympic Games Tomokazu Harimoto Sun Yingsha Miu Hirano Lin Yun -Ju Wang Chuqin Truls Moregard Su Pei-Ling Sabina Surjan

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Day 9 - Buenos Aires 2018 Youth Olympic Games