by Ian Marshall, Editor
At the final hurdle, Asia was the opposition; a three matches to two verdict being the end result; China’s Kuai Man, the winner earlier this year of the Cadet Girls’ Singles title at the Asian Junior and Cadet Championships, emerging the only winner for the continental team.
In the opening contest by the very narrowest of margins she beat Yukari Sugasawa, recovering from a two games to nil deficit to secure victory (7-11, 7-11, 11-9, 11-8, 13-11). Later, in the fourth match of the engagement she overcame Honami Nakamori (11-5, 12-14, 11-4, 11-8) but that was the sum total of her team’s success.
Korea Republic’s Byun Seoyoung suffered at the hands of Honomi Nakamori in the second match of the fixture (11-6, 11-6, 11-8), before in the fifth and deciding contest experiencing defeat when facing Yukari Sugasawa (11-6, 11-5, 11-3). The one further win for Japan was secured in the third match of the contest when Kaha Akae beat Singapore’s Zhou Jingyi (11-8, 11-8, 14-12).
Earlier in the day at the semi-final stage, fielding the same three players, Japan had beaten the Latin American trio comprising Mexico’s Arantxa Cossio Aceves, Brazil’s Giulia Takahashi and Puerto Rico’s Brianna Burgos by three matches to nil.
Conversely, in the corresponding penultimate round duel, Asia had been stretched the full five match distance by the North American formation of Rachel Yang and Rachel Sung from the United States who lined up alongside Canada’s Benita Zhou.
Once again, as was to be the situation in the final, Kuai Man remained unbeaten. She accounted for both Rachel Yang (11-3, 11-4, 11-6) and Rachel Sung (11-8, 11-8, 12-10); the one further win for Asia was secured by Byun Seoyoung, matters level in the decisive fifth match, she overcame Rachel Yang (11-6, 11-6, 11-5).
The Girls’ Team event over, attention now turns to the individual events.