27 Oct 2018

Eyes focused on gold, Asia and Japan emerged in top positions in their respective groups at the close of play on the first day of action, Saturday 27th October, at the 2018 ITTF World Cadet Challenge in Tottori.

Competing on home soil, there was no stopping the host nation quartet formed by Kazaki Hamada, Sora Matsushima, Hiroto Shinozuke and Yuma Tanigaki; every contest was won by the maximum five matches to nil margin.

by Ian Marshall, Editor

A most creditable performance, it was the same from North America; selecting from the United States pairing of Nikhil Kumar and Sid Naresh alongside Canada’s Edison Huang and Edward Ly, second place and thus progress to the semi-final round was secured.

Meanwhile, in the corresponding group it was first place for Asia with Europe in second spot.

In the fixture to determine pole position, China’s Zeng Beixun proved the player to note in a five matches to one victory. After Poland’s Maciek Kubik had given Europe the ideal start by beating Iran’s Radin Khayyam (6-11, 11-4, 11-7, 11-6), Zeng Beixun swayed the balance in favour of Asia. He recovered from a two games to nil deficit to secure victory over Myshaal Sabhi (9-11, 8-11, 11-9, 11-3, 11-4). Later, after Chinese Taipei’s Wang Guan-Ru had accounted for Belgium’s Adrien Rassenfosse (11-8, 11-7, 11-8), Zeng Beixun sealed the victory by overcoming Maciej Kubik (11-8, 11-7, 11-8). Matters concluded with Radin Khayyam overcoming Myshaal Sabhi.

Worthy performances but arguably the performance of the day was that enacted by the Hopes Team against Asia; a three-two defeat was the order of proceedings. The Asian player to suffer was Korea Republic’s Hwang Jinha. He was beaten by both Romania’s Iulian Chirita (12-10, 9-11, 11-4, 12-10) and by Singapore’s Izaac Quek Yong (9-11, 13-11, 11-9, 11-4).

The saviour for Asia, as against Europe was Zeng Beixun, he beat both Izaac Yong Quek (11-2, 11-8, 11-9) and Iulian Chirita (11-8, 12-10, 13-15, 11-7); the one further win for the eventual winners was secured in the third match of the engagement by Radin Khayyam. He overcame Spain’s Daniel Berzosa (11-3, 11-6, 11-9).

Both semi-finals, final and play-off fixtures for positions will be played on Sunday 28th October.

2018 ITTF World Cadet Challenge Japan

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Day 5 - 2018 World Cadet Challenge