05 Dec 2021

Together they upsets the odds, apart on Sunday 5th December at the 2021 ITTF World Youth Championships in Vila Nova de Gaia, they did the same.

Chinese Taipei’s Chang Yu-An and Cheng Pu-Syuan once again attracted the attention.

by Ian Marshall

Competing in the under 15 age group category, at the end of the day, they experienced a mixed doubles defeat at the hands of Romania’s Iulian Chirita and Bianca Mei Rosu, the no.4 seeds (11-6, 11-4, 12-10); Japan’s Sora Matsushima and Miwa Harimoto, the no.17 seeds, await in the final.

“I’m happy to be at the final, I’m going to do my best to win. I wasn’t that nervous at the semi-final, so I could play really well”, Sora Matsushima

They reserved their place in the gold medal contest, courtesy of success in opposition to the combination formed by Poland’s Milosz Redzimski and Germany’s Mia Griesel, the no.11 seeds (11-6, 11-6, 12-10).

Defeat but commencing play the no.21 seeds in an event of 23 pairs, for Chang Yu-An and Cheng Pu-Syuan to conclude matters with a bronze medal was totally against expectations.

Equally, earlier in the day they had exceeded expectations.

In the opening round of the boys’ singles event, Chang Yu-An, the no.20 seed, beat Brazil’s Leonardo Kenzo (11-5, 11-2, 11-5, 11-6); at the same stage of the counterpart girls’ singles competition, Cheng Pu-Syuan, likewise the no.20 seed, recovered from an opening game deficit to overcome Slovenia’s Sara Tokic, the no.15 seed (6-11, 11-3, 12-10, 11-8, 11-8).

Upset pecking order

Unexpected success, they were not alone.

Contrary to expectations, in the opening round of the boys’ singles event Poland’s Milosz Redzimski, Portugal’s Tiago Abiodun and Sora Matsushima all upset the pecking order.

Milosz Redzimski, the no.17 seed, accounted for Russia’s Ilia Koniukhov, the no.12 seed (11-8, 11-8, 11-5, 11-7), Portugal’s Tiago Abiodun, the no.19 seed, ended the hopes of India’s Preyesh Suresh Raj, the no.9 seed (11-7, 13-15, 11-5, 11-7, 7-11, 11-9).

Similarly, Sora Matsushima, the no.18 seed, halted aspirations harboured by the Czech Republic’s Martin Sip, the no.10 seed (11-3, 11-3, 9-11, 11-8, 11-7).

Three notable casualties and there was almost one more; Russia’s Roman Vinogradov, the no.13 seed, needed the full seven games to beat Sid Naresh of the United States, the no.22 seed. Eventually he secured victory by the very narrowest of decisions (11-9, 11-8, 4-11, 9-11, 2-11, 11-5, 11-9).

Likewise in the opening round of the girls’ singles event, in addition to the efforts of Cheng Pu-Syuan, there was one further upset; Clea de Stoppeleire, the no.17 seed, eventually overcame Russia’s Anastasiia Ivanova, the no.13 seed (11-9, 13-15, 7-11, 9-11, 11-7, 11-6, 11-4).

Top eight commence in round two

Notably, the top eight names were not required to compete in the first round of either the boys’ or girls’ singles events.

The second round of the boys’ and girls’ singles events in addition the semi-finals of the boys’ and girls’ doubles plus the mixed doubles final will be played on Monday 5th December.


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