by Ian Marshall, Editor
Li Hsin-Yu emerged a junior boys’ singles semi-finalist in the northern Australian coastal city of Darwin but more pertinently, he won the under 21 men’s singles event at the ITTF Challenge Thailand Open.
Success for Li Hsin-Yu, it is very similar success for Yu Hsui-Ting; in Darwin she won the junior girls’ singles title; at the ITTF Challenge Thailand Open she advanced to the quarter-final round.
However, if either is to gain similar success on home soil; the efforts of Japan’s Sora Matsushima and Kaho Akae may well have to be thwarted.
Both impressed at the recent 2019 Asian Junior and Cadet Championships staged in the Mongolian capital city of Ulaanbaator. Sora Matsushima, only 12 years, finished in fifth place in the cadet boys’ singles event, in the counterpart cadet girls’ singles competition, Kaho Akae was the runner up.
Furthermore, both have enjoyed success on this year’s ITTF World Junior Circuit; in cadet boys’ singles events Sora Matsushima was the runner up in the Czech Republic and Sweden, a quarter-finalist in Thailand.
Impressive but if anyone has impressed this year on the ITTF World Junior Circuit it is Kaho Akae. In February in the Czech Republic, she was the cadet girls’ singles winner, a junior girls’ singles semi-finalist. One week later she exceeded both those feats in Sweden, she won both the junior girls’ singles and cadet girls’ singles titles. Later, in April she returned to Europe and once again secured podium places. She was a semi-finalist in both disciplines.
Notable names from Japan and amongst the boys’ entries there is another most worthy name from Japan; Hayate Suzuki could well influence proceedings; earlier this year he won the cadet boys’ singles title in France, soon after he was a bronze medallist in Belgium.
Singapore and Hong Kong
Likewise, amongst the boys’ entries, Singapore and Hong Kong are both in evidence; Izaac Quek Yong is on duty for the former, for the latter Baldwin Chan Ho Wah. Izaac Quek Yong reached the quarter-final round of both the junior boys’ singles and cadet boys’ singles events in Sweden; also, he was a cadet boys’ singles quarter-finalist in Italy. Somewhat similarly, in Australia, Baldwin Chan Ho Wah advanced to the junior boys’ singles semi-finals, the cadet boys’ singles quarter-finals.
A prominent entrant from Hong Kong, it is the same for the girls, the name of Lee Ka Yee appears n the start list, most notably at the 2019 ITTF Challenge Thailand Open she reached the quarter-final stage in the under 21 women’s singles event.
However, for the girls, it is in particular to the host association that attention turns. In addition to Yu Hsiu-Ting, Chien Tung-Chuan, Cai Fong-En and Tsai Yu-Chin all compete. Similar to Lee Ka Yee, Chien Tung-Chuan reached the quarter-final round of the under 21 women’s singles event in Thailand, as well as being the junior girls’ singles runner up in Australia. In a similar vein Cai Fong-En enjoyed success in Australia, she ended matters a junior girls’ singles bronze medallist.
Worthy efforts in Asia and Oceania, for Tsai Yu-Chin the notable efforts accrued in Europe. She concluded play, the runner up in the under 21 women’s singles event at the ITTF Challenge Slovenia Open; in junior girls’ singles events on the ITTF World Junior Circuit, she was a semi-finalist in Spain, the runner up in Belgium.
Play commences with the team events.