03 Dec 2021

Imposing displays, China won both the under 19 boys’ and girls’ team titles at the 2021 ITTF World Youth Championships in Vila Nova de Gaia on the evening of Friday 3rd December.

Once again they sent out the very clear message that when one generation departs the international scene another further down the line is being honed to maintain proud traditions.

by Ian Marshall

Victory by the 3-0 margin was the order of the day at both the semi-final and final stages in the boys’ event.

Xiang Peng, who had won the boys’ singles title at the 2019 World Junior Championships in Korat, Thailand, led by example.

Against Japan, in the penultimate round, he overcame Hiroto Shinozuka (11-6, 11-13, 10-12, 11-4, 11-8) to give China the ideal start. Lin Shidong followed suit by beating Kazuki Hamada (11-7, 11-8, 11-3), before Chen Yuanyu accounted for Sora Matsushita (11-4, 13-11, 11-4) to end matters.

Xiang Peng set the example (Photo: ITTF)


Similar pattern

The pattern was no different in the final against Russia, once again Xiang Peng set the tone. He beat Vladimir Sidorenko (11-5, 11-2, 7-11, 11-8).

Confidence growing, Lin Shidong overcame Maksim Grebnev (11-6, 11-6, 11-9) to set the scene for Chen Yuanyu to secure the title. He obliged, he beat Damir Akhmetsafin in straight games (11-4, 14-12, 11-3).

“It feels pretty good, I’m very happy to win so many matches. We didn’t find many problems, there were some, but it was fluent throughout the competition. I was both nervous and exited and it got better from match to match.” Lin Shidong

Comprehensive from China, at the same stage against Germany’s Hannes Hoermann, Daniel Rinderer and Kay Stumper, it had been similar from the Russians. Vladislav Makarov preferred to Damir Akhmetsafin; a 3-0 margin of victory was the outcome.

Vladislav Makarov preferred to Damir Akhmetsafin in the contest against Germany (Photo: ITTF)


Japan provides stern test

Success in style for the boys, for the girls, life was more testing. At the semi-final stage Japan’s Miyuu Kihara, Haruna Ojio and Ami Shirayama proved most worthy opponents.

A 3-1 win was the outcome in favour of China. In the opening match of the fixture, Haruna Ojio beat Chen Yi (11-9, 5-11, 11-8, 14-12). Japan ahead they almost doubled the advantage; by the very narrowest of margins Miyuu Kihara was beaten by Kuai Man (9-11, 9-11, 14-12, 11-5, 12-10).

Undoubtedly that success swayed the momentum of the contest. Wu Yangchen overcame Ami Shirayama (11-4, 11-6, 11-7), before Chen Yi defeated Miyuu Kihara (16-14, 7-11,6-11, 11-4, 11-7) to seal the victory.

Haruna Ojio secured the one success against China (Photo: ITTF)


Less dramatic

Tense moments, in the final when facing the United States, life was less dramatic; no changes to the Chinese line-up a 3-0 win was recorded again the trio comprising Joanna Sung, Rachel Sung and Amy Wang.

“This championship is very important to me. After all the matches, I felt the stone in my heart was relieved finally. To participate in such an important event after almost two years away from international competitions, I was quite nervous. In the semi-final, I lost the first match, then my teammates gave me huge support to win the fourth match. We did a good job in the final. I was very happy that we won, great teamwork.” Chen Yi

The successful Chinese girls’ team (Photo: ITTF)


Hard earned

Silver for the United States and hard earned; with Angie Tan preferred to Joanna Sung, a 3-2 verdict against Romania’s Luciana Mitrofan, Ioana Singeorzan and Elena Zaharia had been the penultimate round outcome.

Mainstay of the victory was Rachel Sung; she accounted for Elena Zaharia in the second match of the fixture (11-9, 6-11, 11-6, 13-11) and Ioana Singeorzan (11-6, 12-10, 9-11, 11-9) in the vital concluding fifth match.

Rachel Sung unbeaten against Romania (Photo: ITTF)


Attention now turns to the individual events.

General News 2021 ITTF World Youth Championships 2021 ITTF World Youth Championships

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