17 Apr 2019

Quarter-finalist last year in both Thailand and in his native China but in Spa required to commence matters in the group qualification stage, Quan Kaiyuan won the junior boys’ singles event at the 2019 Belgium Junior and Cadet Open on Tuesday 16th April.

A landmark win, it was his first ever such title on the ITTF World Junior Circuit; a feat the player he overcame in the final is striving to achieve.

by Ian Marshall, Editor

In the title deciding contest he beat colleague Cao Yantao, the no.13 seed (7-11, 11-7, 11-5, 7-11, 11-9, 13-11) to reserve the top step of the podium; in 2018, Cao Yantao having been a quarter-finalist in Poland, semi-finalist in China and the runner up in Hungary.

Unexpected finalists according to seeding; both en route to the decisive contest had caused notable upsets. In particular, after ousting Chinese Taipei’s Feng Yi-Hsin, the no.4 seed (11-8, 11-4, 11-4, 12-10), Cao Yantao had recorded a semi-final success in opposition Russia’s Lev Katsman, the top seed, the winner the previous week in France and earlier in the year in February in Bahrain. Impressively, Cao Yantao prevailed in six games (11-7, 6-11, 11-9, 11-8, 7-11, 11-9).

Cao Yantao beat Lev Katsman but had to settle for runners up spot (Photo: Mike Loveder)


Similarly, in the adjacent half of the draw, Quan Kaiyuan had ended the hopes of prominent names. Most notably in the third round he beat Maksim Grebnev, the no.2 seed and like Lev Katsman from Russia (11-6, 11-4, 11-3, 11-4), prior to overcoming Chinese Taipei’s Huang Yu-Jen (11-4, 11-5, 11-7, 12-14, 5-11, 11-9) and colleague Zeng Beixun, the no.16 seed (9-11, 8-11, 12-10, 11-7, 11-9, 11-9) to reserve his place in the final.

Notably, Zeng Beixun had also impressed; in round four he accounted for Denmark’s Daniel Simonsen (11-7, 11-3, 8-11, 11-4, 11-3), the third round winner in opposition to Iran’s Amin Ahmadian, the no.3 seed (11-7, 11-8, 4-11, 11-5, 7-11, 11-9), prior to ousting Chinese Taipei’s Tai Ming-Wei, the no.3 seed, to reserve his last eight place (11-4, 11-5, 11-7, 12-14, 5-11, 11-9).

Zeng Beixun suffered a semi-final defeat at the hands of Quan Kaiyuan (Photo: Mike Loveder)


A surprise junior boys’ singles winner, it was the same in the junior boys’ doubles event, Japan’s Hiroto Shinosuka and Jo Yokotani, the no.25 seeds, emerged the winners. In the second round they caused a major upset by beating Iran’s Amin Ahmadian and Radim Khayyam, the no.2 seeds (11-4, 11-7, 11-8), before later in the day, securing the title at the final expense of the host nation’s Olav Kosolosky and Adrien Rassenfosse, the no.4 seeds, an engagement determined by the very narrowest of margins (13-11, 11-4, 8-11, 8-11, 13-11).

Most impressively, one round earlier at the semi-final stage, Olav Kosolosky and Adrien Rassenfosse had had recovered from a two games to nil deficit to beat Maksim Grebnev and Lev Katsman (10-12, 6-11, 11-7, 11-6, 11-9), the top seeds and runners up at the 2018 World Junior Championships in Bendigo.

Watched by Adrien Rassenfosse, Olav Kosolosky executes a strong backhand top spin stroke, it completes the recovery and ends the semi-final contest against Maksim Grebnev and Lev Katsman (Photo: Mike Loveder)


Disappointment for Russia but there was success; in the hopes boys’ singles event, they provided all four semi-finalists.

Aleksei Samokhin emerged the winner accounting for Serafim Orlov in the final (11-9, 11-7, 12-10); in the penultimate round Aleksei Samokhin had beaten Roman Vinogradov (11-8, 12-10, 8-11, 4-11, 11-7), Serafim Orlov had overcome Nikita Ryabakov had (11-8, 11-6, 11-6).

Aleksei Samokhin, the hopes boys’ singles winner in an event dominated by Russia (Photo: Bernard Comeliau)


The junior boys’ singles and hopes boys’ singles events concluded, attention now turns to the team competitions.

World Junior Circuit 2019 Belgium Junior and Cadet Open Quan Kaiyuan

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