by Ian Marshall, Editor
Runner up in the cadet girls’ singles event at the 2019 Asian Junior and Cadet Championships staged in early September in Ulaanbaator; following success against Egypt’s Hana Goda (11-6, 11-5, 6-11, 11-7, 11-5), Kaho Akae accounted for Romania’s Elena Zaharia (11-8, 11-13, 11-7, 11-5, 13-15, 11-8) to seal the title.
“I’m very happy getting this gold medal. Elena is very good player, I played her before and I knew it would be hard final.” Kaho Akae
In the adjacent semi-final Elena Zaharia had ended the progress of Lee Yeonhui (11-9, 7-11, 9-11, 11-9, 11-6, 14-12).
“I played Kaho Akae in the team event so I know it would be hard match. I knew that it would be a close match; either of us could have won today. I’m happy I won silver in singles here in Władysławowo.” Elena Zaharia
Even more exacting
Hard fought contest, tense moments but not quite the level experienced by Darius Movileanu, the young man who had won the cadet boys’ singles title at the European Youth Championships held in August in Ostrava.
At the semi-final stage he beat Japan’s Sora Matsushima by the minimal two point margin in the deciding seventh game (11-7, 11-8, 8-11, 11-7, 9-11, 11-13, 11-9), before doing exactly the same in the final when facing Korea Republic’s Jang Seongil (7-11, 5-11, 11-9, 10-12, 11-9, 11-6, 11-4).
Almost colleagues met
Gold for Romania and it was almost an all Romanian final; in the corresponding penultimate round contest, Jang Seongil had been required to recover from a two games to nil deficit to beat Iulian Chirita (7-11, 5-11, 11-9, 10-12, 11-9, 11-6, 11-4).
Notably, in the boys’ team event when representing the Hopes against Europe, Iulian Chirita had beaten his colleague, Darius Movileanu (13-11, 8-11, 12-10, 11-5). Had they met again would revenge have been gained? We’ll never know.
Bronze for Ilulian Chirita, in the boys’ doubles event it was silver.
Partnering Singapore’s Izaac Quek Yong, after accounting for Poland’s Milosz Redzimski and Mateusz Zalewski (11-9, 11-3, 11-6), they experienced defeat when opposing Sora Matsushima and Navid Shams (6-11, 11-4, 12-10, 7-11, 11-6). In the opposite half of the draw, Sora Matsushima and Navid Shams had beaten the combination of the Czech Republic’s Simon Belik and Russia’s Denis Izumdrunov (11-6, 11-4, 11-9) to reserve their place in the title decider.
“Our opponents were very good, it was hard match in the final. I played with Sora for the first time, some matches was pretty close but we managed to win; this whole tournament was hard for me, I had pain in my shoulder the whole time. I think maybe that’s why I didn’t get a medal in singles event. Fortunately I won gold in team and doubles, I’m very happy”. Navid Shams
The podium in the boys’ doubles event (Photo: Bogdan Pasek)
Imposing performances, it was the same in the girls’ doubles from Kaho Akae and Lee Yeonhui.
Following success against Poland’s Anna Brzyska and Zuzanna Wielgos (12-10, 11-3, 11-6), they accounted for Elena Zaharia and Russia’s Vlada Voronina to emerge the champions (12-10, 11-5, 13-11, 11-5).
“I played together for the first time with Vlada but we know each other and we know we can fight for the best results, we both wanted a medal.” Elena Zaharia
In the opposite half of the draw in the penultimate round Vlada Voronina and Elena Zaharia had ousted the Latin American partnership of Mexico’s Arantxa Cossio Aceves and Brazil’s Giulia Takahashi (11-7, 11-7, 11-9).
“In the doubles I was worried about communication with Lee Yeonhui. It was hard at the start of the doubles event but from match to match we learnt how to communicate and we won gold at the end. I’m very happy for these results”. Kako Akae
Silver medals for Elena Zaharia but there was gold; in an event where players drew at random for partners, partnering Izaac Quek Yong the duo overcame the combination of Poland’s Mateusz Zalewski and Croatia’s Hana Arapovic (5-11, 11-8, 11-4) to emerge the winners.