by Ian Marshall, Editor
Occupying the top seeded position, in the later rounds Quan Kaiyuan accounted for familiar faces; at the quarter-final stage he overcame Tao Yuchang (11-4, 12-10, 11-4, 11-8), before prevailing against Liang Guodong (11-9, 11-13, 11-2, 11-9, 11-7) and Zeng Beixun, the no.8 seed, to seal the title (11-8, 1-11, 8-11, 4-11, 11-7, 13-11, 12-10).
“The final was a really tough and long match, I felt it would never end but I am happy that I won. I am really happy that I could manage to change the result in the middle but it was hard after that too. At the beginning I was a little bit nervous, that’s why my game wasn’t that focused. I will try to practise to be more concentrated and more confident in the future.” Quan Kaiyuan
Notably, Liang Guodong, the beaten semi-finalist, had seized the opportunities presented. At the quarter-final stage he had ousted Belgium’s Adrien Rassenfosse, the no.6 seed (13-11, 11-7, 6-11, 6-11, 11-8, 11-5), after earlier having overcome Korea Republic’s Oh Junsung (6-11, 11-7, 11-1, 9-11, 13-11, 11-5) and Romania’s Darius Movileanu (6-11, 11-2, 15-11, 12-10, 11-7).
Both were players in form. In the second round Oh Junsung had beaten Germany’s Kay Stumper, the no.4 seed (11-4, 8-11, 6-11, 12-10, 11-7, 11-3); Darius Movileanu had ousted Chinese Taipei’s Huang Yu-Ja, the no.5 seed (11-9, 11-6, 4-11, 11-2, 10-12, 11-5).
Equally hard earned
Hard earned success for Quan Kaiyuan; it was equally hard earned progress for Zeng Beixun; after accounting for Korea Republic’s Lee Hoyun at the quarter-final stage (11-9, 11-4, 11-5, 11-3), he needed the full seven games to beat Nikhil Kumar of the United States, the no.7 seed (7-11, 12-14, 11-8, 12-14, 11-6, 11-9, 11-3).
Creditable wins, both Nikhil Kumar and Lee Hoyun were players in the groove. In the second round Lee Hoyun had beaten the host nation’s Csaba Andras, the no.3 seed (11-4, 10-12, 9-11, 11-9, 11-7, 12-10); at the quarter-final stage Nikhil Kumar had ousted Chinese Tai Ming-Wei, the no.2 seed (11-13, 9-11, 11-13, 11-5, 11-9, 12-10, 11-9) the winner earlier this year on home soil in Taipei City and more recently in Oman.
A third title for Quan Kaiyuan, for Wang Tianyi it was her first such success on the ITTF World Junior Circuit; her previous best being a semi-final finish earlier this year in Italy. In the final she accounted for colleague, Li Yake (10-12, 11-8, 5-11, 11-8, 8-11, 11-6, 11-6) to secure her landmark win.
“It was a very tough match in the final because both of us are Chinese, so it was hard. We know each other very well, Li Yake is a really good player. I am really happy that I could play this prestigious event for China. I hope my game will be better and better in the future. I had to think about my tactics and use different strategies so I could win the final.” Wang Tianyi.
Earlier in the third round she had beaten Russia’s Natalia Malinina, the no.6 seed (8-11, 11-6, 13-11, 11-6, 11-1), before in the quarter-finals overcoming Chinese Taipei’s Yu Hsui-Ting, the top seed (11-6, 11-6, 11-6, 12-14, 11-5) and one round later compatriot Sub Xiaomeng (11-4, 11-9, 10-12, 11-7, 11-2).
Testing times for Wang Tianyi, it was very much the same en route to the final for Li Yake, who also had also been required to compete in the group stage of play and was thus not seeded. She caused Chinese Taipei problems. In the opening round she had accounted for Cheng Tung-Chuang, the no.7 seed (11-7, 11-9, 13-11, 11-7), before later at the quarter-final stage overcoming Tsai Yun-En (11-4, 11-8, 11-5, 9-11, 12-10).
Exacting contests, it was even more exacting in the penultimate round. She beat Romania’s Elena Zaharia by the very narrowest of margins (11-8, 8-11, 11-4, 9-11, 13-15, 11-5, 12-10). Impressively, one round earlier, Elena Zaharia had ended the hopes of Italy’s Jamla Laurenti, the no.2 seed (6-11, 13-11, 11-7, 13-11, 11-3).
An earlier than anticipated exit for Jamila Laurenti; it was the same for Russia’s Elizabet Abraamian, the no.3 seed and Chinese Taipei’s and Darya Kisel of Belarus, the no.4 seed. Russia’s Elizabet Abraamian experienced a first round departure, losing to Chinese Taipei’s Chu Yi-Ching (8-11, 11-9, 11-3, 11-8, 11-7) who, in turn, suffered a third round defeat at the hands of Sun Xiaomeng (11-3, 15-13, 11-9, 11-6).
Defeat for Chu Yi-Ching in round three, it was the same for Elizabet Abraamian who lost to Tsai Yun-En, also from Chinese Taipei (11-3, 12-10, 11-9, 11-9), one round later Germany’s Anastasia Bondareva, the no.8 seed, also departed. She was beaten by Sun Xiaomeng (11-4, 11-7, 9-11, 11-6, 9-11, 12-10).
More gold for China
Gold for China, in the junior boys’ doubles event the medals were the same colour. After recording a semi-final success against Kay Stumper and colleague Feli Wetzel (11-6, 11-7, 6-11, 11-6), Liang Guodong and Quan Kaiyuan sealed the title at the final expense of Chinese Taipei’s Huang Yan-Cheng and Tai Ming-Wei (11-13, 11-6, 11-8, 11-5). In the counterpart semi-final, Huang Yan-Cheng and Tai Ming-Wei had accounted for Yang Qulong and Zeng Beixun (11-4, 9-11, 11-4, 11-3).
“We were confident in our matches, our aim was to win this event. We practised new tactics as well; they were successful so we are really satisfied now. We play together often and we work together very well. In the final, in the first game our focus was not good enough; after that we did better and managed the next three games and the win quite easily. All in all it was a good match and we really enjoyed it.” Liang Guodong
Title for Chinese Taipei
Runners up spot for Chinese Taipei, in the junior girls’ doubles event it was top spot; somewhat significantly at the hands of China.
At the semi-final stage Chien Tung-Chuan and Yu Hsui-Ting beat Li Yake and Wang Tianyi (11-9, 18-16, 6-11, 9-11, 13-11), before securing the title at the expense of Leng Yutong and Li Yuqi (11-7, 2-11, 11-7, 11-8). In the opposite half of the draw in the semi-final round, Leng Yutong and Li Yuqi had ended the hopes of the European combination formed by Slovakia’s Adriana Illasova and Italy’s Jamila Laurenti (12-10, 12-14, 11-5, 11-9).
“It was really good in the final. We worked well together. Of course we had some problems as well but we could manage them. In the final the second game wasn’t that good. After the second game we changed our tactics. It was a good decision, we managed to win the next two games. All the games were hard, we are really happy that we won. It was a long day but we could rest during afternoon and practice a little bit. So it wasn’t a problem, we were excited as well.” Chien Tung-Chuan
Attention in Szombathely now turns to the team events; play concludes on Sunday 10th November.