by Ian Marshall, Editor
At the final hurdle she beat the host nation’s Yukari Sugasawa in five games (11-5, 9-11, 11-3, 12-10, 11-3) to reserve the top step of the podium, having on the concluding day of play accounted for Russia’s Elizabet Abraamian by a similar margin (13-11, 11-5, 11-4, 10-12, 11-6) to reserve her place in the title deciding contest.
In the counterpart semi-final, Yukari Sugasawa had overcome colleague, Hikari Okubo (11-6, 11-3, 12-10, 11-8).
Gold for Kuai Man but it was not to be the outcome in the Girls’ Doubles event, partnering Korea Republic’s Byun Seoyoung, a bronze medal was the end result, the duo experiencing a semi-final defeat at the hands of Elizabet Abraamian and Sweden’s Rebecca Muskantor (12-10, 11-8, 11-5).
A notable performance by the European duo but in the final they found the Japanese partnership of Honami Nakamori and Hikari Okubo in no mood for charity, a straight games success was the order proceedings (11-8, 12-10, 11-2), a much more comfortable result than they had experienced in the penultimate round. Facing the partnership formed by Lithuania’s Kornelija Riliskyte and Romania’s Elena Zaharia, they came perilously close to a four games defeat (8-11, 11-8, 5-11, 17-15, 12-10).
Success for Kuai Man means that within the space of just over two months, she has added a further major title to her collection. In mid-August in Myanmar she won Cadet Girls’ Singles gold at the Asian Junior and Cadet Championships.
She joins colleagues Cao Zhen, Feng Yalan, Liu Shiwen, Liu Gaoyang and Li Yiran who have won the Girls’ Singles title at the ITTF World Cadet Challenge; notably Li Yiran has moved allegiance to the Korea Republic. Now known as Kim Hayeong, at the current Seamaster 2018 ITTF World Tour Swedish Open, she was the Under 21 Women’s Singles runner up.