19 May 2019

Gold medallist in 2017 in Portugal, silver last year in Paraguay and Serbia, the host nation’s much travelled Yanapong Panagitgun emerged the somewhat surprise winner of the junior boys’ singles event, on Sunday 19th May, at the SET 2019 Thailand Junior and Cadet Open in Bangkok.

The fact he commenced play the no.6 seed suggests the success was unexpected; more significantly in the preceding junior boys’ team competition, China had struck gold without conceding a single individual match; Liu Yebo, Kuang Li and Xie Congfan were all expected to gain podium places.

by Ian Marshall, Editor

Liu Yebo, the no.3 seed, fulfilled that promise but he had to settle for runners up spot; Yanapong Panagitgun was a teenager with a mission, in a high level hard fought final, the local man maintained his nerve to succeed in seven games (11-8, 11-9, 8-11, 10-12, 8-11, 11-7, 11-8).

Rather differently there was no medal reward for Xie Congfan nor Kuang Li. On the penultimate day of play, Xie Congfan had experienced a third round exit at the hands of Singapore’s Pang Yew En Koen, the top seed (13-11, 10-12, 7-11, 10-12, 11-9, 13-11, 13-11); on the concluding day of action, the Singaporean ended the progress of Kuang Li, the no.9 seed (12-10, 11-7, 10-12, 12-14, 11-7, 11-8) at the quarter-final stage.

Pang Yew En Koen beat both Xie Congfan and Kuang Li (Photo: Panichar Junkana)


A semi-final place for Pang Yew En Koen but that was where the journey ended. He was beaten by Yanapong Panagitgun (12-10, 11-9, 6-11, 5-11, 11-6, 14-12), the winner earlier in the day in opposition to Korea Republic’s Park Gyeontae (6-11, 11-7, 12-10, 11-4, 10-12, 11-7) and Belgium’s Olav Kosolosky, the no.4 seed (11-6, 9-11, 11-13, 11-8, 11-8, 12-10).

Notably at the same stages, Liu Yebo had ousted Hong Kong’s Lau Chun Nok (11-6, 11-2, 11-3, 11-6), Chinese Taipei’s Huang Yu-Jen, the no.12 seed (11-6, 4-11, 11-2, 11-8, 7-11, 11-9) and colleague, Chen Yuanyu, the no.2 seed (9-11, 6-11, 11-2, 11-13, 11-6, 11-4, 11-4).

Liu Yebo beat Chen Yuanyu to book his place in the final but suffered at the hands of Yanapong Panagitgun (Photo: Panichar Junkana)


Success somewhat against the odds for Yanapong Panagitgun and no gold for China; it was the same in the cadet boys’ singles event. Coincidentally, as in the junior boys’ singles competition, the verdict finished in favour of the no.6 seed and, also the same, Chen Yuanyu was the no.2 seed; the difference was on this occasion the colour of the medal for Chen Yuanyu was silver not bronze.

He was beaten in the final by Belgium’s Louis Laffineur (12-10, 6-11, 11-9, 11-9) who emerged a most worthy winner; he accounted for all three members of China’s earlier in the week gold medal winning team. In the third round he beat China’s Lin Shidong, the no.9 seed (11-9, 11-5, 13-11), before ousting Japan’s Sora Matsushima, the top seed (11-7, 11-6, 11-8) to reserve his place in the penultimate round, where he accounted for Huang Youzheng, the no.11 seed (11-7, 8-11, 11-9, 7-11, 11-8).

Silver and bronze medals for Chen Yuanyu (Photo: Panichar Junkana)


Notably, in the opposite half of the draw, in the later rounds, Chen Yuanyu had beaten Singapore’s Izaac Quek Yong, the no.11 seed (7-11, 11-5, 11-8, 12-10) and India’s Payas Jain, the no.7 seed (11-9, 15-17, 11-2, 11-3), followed by success in opposition to Puerto Rico’s Angel Naranjo, the no.10 seed (11-7, 11-9, 11-8).

Gold for Thailand and Belgium; in the hopes boys’ singles event it was both gold and silver for Singapore; at the expense of India. After having accounted for Oishik Ghosh in the semi-finals (6-11, 11-6, 11-8, 11-7), Nicholas Tan overcame Ellsworth Le (9-11, 11-8, 12-10, 8-11, 11-7) to secure the title; in the counterpart semi-final, Ellsworth Le had ended the hopes of Ashish Jain (12-14, 11-9, 11-4, 15-13).

Ellsworth Le, the hopes boys’ singles runner up (Photo: Panichar Junkana)


A two day break, locally the next event on the calendar is the Seamaster 2019 ITTF Challenge Thailand Open, on the ITTF World Junior Circuit, the Polish Junior and Cadet Open; both tournaments start on Wednesday 22nd May.

World Junior Circuit 2019 Thailand Junior & Cadet Open Yanapong Panagitgun

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