01 May 2019

Quarter-finalist in April in Belgium; contrary to expectations, Huang Yu-Jen won the junior boys’ singles event at the 2019 Australia Junior and Cadet Open in Darwin on Wednesday 1st May and thus collected his first ever such title on the ITTF World Junior Circuit.

However, for the 18 year old it was a close call.

by Ian Marshall, Editor

The no.4 seed, at the final hurdle he needed the full seven games to beat colleague, Tai Ming-Wei, the top seed and winner last year in El Salvador, emerging successful by the very narrowest of margins (11-4, 7-11, 11-8, 10-12, 12-10, 8-11, 11-9).

Hard fought success, it had been very much the same en route to the title deciding contest. At the quarter-final stage he needed six games to overcome Malaysia’s Wong Qi Shen, the no.12 seed (5-11, 6-11, 11-8, 11-9, 11-7, 15-13), before in a similarly exacting engagement accounting for colleague Li Hsin-Yu, the no.9 seed (11-13, 11-9, 11-9, 10-12, 13-11, 11-8). Notably Li Hsin-Yu was very much a player in form; one round earlier he had halted the progress of Hong Kong’s Pau Yik Man, the no.2 seed (11-4, 11-6, 11-7, 11-9).

In the opposite half of the draw, in the later rounds, Tai Ming-Wei had ended the hopes of Hong Kong by accounting for Lau Chun Nok, the no.14 seed (11-4, 11-2, 11-3) and Baldwin Chan Ho Wah, the no.11 (11-5, 11-9, 3-11, 11-8, 11-6).

Disappointment for Hong Kong, conversely in the cadet boys’ singles event it was success. Yiu Kwan To, the top seed, emerged the winner, overcoming colleague Yu Nok, the no.3 seed, in the final (11-4, 11-8, 11-4).

Earlier, at the quarter-final stage, Yiu Kwan To had beaten Lau Chu Nok, the no.9 seed (11-4, 11-2, 11-3), followed by success in opposition to Malaysia’s Tan Yi Heng, the no.7 seed (11-6, 11-3, 11-8) and surprise quarter-final winner against Baldwin Chan Ho Wah, the no.4 seed (5-11, 11-8, 11-4, 9-11, 11-9).

Meanwhile, in the later rounds, Yu Nok had thwarted Australian hopes; he accounted for Richard Li (11-5, 11-5, 11-2), followed by success in opposition to Finn Luu, the no.2 seed (11-6, 11-6, 11-7).

The ITTF World Junior Circuit tournament in Darwin concluded, attention in northern Australian city now turns to the Para Oceania Championships.

World Junior Circuit 2019 Australian Junior & Cadet Open Huang Yu-Jen

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