08 Dec 2021

Successful the previous day when in harness securing the mixed doubles title; at the 2021 ITTF World Youth Championships in Vila Nova de Gaia, on Tuesday 7th December, Japan’s Sora Matsushima and Miwa Harimoto added to their collection of gold.

However, in the under 15 age group, they were not necessarily the players to attract the attention; the names to shine came from Singapore, Izaac Quek Yong and Ser Lin Qian.

by Ian Marshall

Sora Matsushima in partnership with Frenchman Felix Lebrun accounted for Russia’s Ilia Koniukov and Roman Vinogradov, the no.8 seeds (11-7, 8-11, 11-4, 11-3) to claim the boys’ doubles title.

“It’s unbelievable, to win a gold medal in the World Championships, it’s my first world championships, I’m really happy.” Felix Lebrun

The win immediately followed the efforts of Miwa Harimoto and Egypt’s Hana Goda who overcame Germany’s Mia Griesel and Annett Kaufmann, the no.2 seeds (11-9, 11-5, 11-7) in the girls’ doubles final.

Both outcomes were as anticipated; it was gold for the top seeds.

Good form to end the day, it had been the same from the Japanese duo earlier in the day, both continued to end the hopes of higher rated opposition.

In the boys’ singles Sora Matsushima, the no.18 seed, beat Spain’s Daniel Berzosa, the no.8 seed (11-6, 11-9, 8-11, 11-3, 11-5) to reserve his place in the semi-finals; likewise, Miwa Harimoto, the no.16 seed, overcame Ireland’s Sophie Earley, the no.14 seed (11-3, 11-0, 13-11, 11-2).

Singaporean progress

More medals guaranteed for Japan, for Singapore the first in Vila Nova de Gaia.

Izaac Quek Yong, the no.3 seed, booked his place in the boys’ singles semi-finals, overcoming Belgium’s Tom Closset, the no.6 seed (11-3, 11-6, 11-3, 11-5).

A place in the penultimate round as status advised; for Ser Lin Qian, life was different, the no.5 she caused somewhat of an upset, she recovered from a two games to nil deficit to beat Germany’s Annett Kaufmann, the no.2 seed (4-11, 11-13, 11-6, 11-4, 11-9, 11-7).

At the semi-final stage, for the Singaporeans, Japan awaits. Izaac Quek Yong opposes Sora Matsushima, Ser Lin Qian confronts Miwa Harimoto.

Corresponding half of draw

Meanwhile, in the opposite halves of the draw, in the boys’ singles, Felix Lebrun faces Poland’s Milosz Redzimski; in the girls’ singles, it is Egypt’s Hana Goda versus India’s Suhana Saini.

Felix Lebrun, the top seed, booked his semi-final place by overcoming Turkey’s Ugurcan Dursun, the no.16 seed (11-5, 11-3, 11-6, 11-7).

“I feel very happy to win the quarter-final match and being able to play the semi-final tomorrow. I expect to win but I know it’s not easy, I will play my best match possible and after we will see.” Felix Lebrun

Similarly, Milosz Redzimski, the no.17 seed, was in nform. He ended the progress of Germany’s Lleyton Ullmann, the no.15 seed (12-10, 11-8, 11-7, 11-7).

“I feel very well, I played my game, I think the most important thing in this match was my backhand near the table. I’m so confident now, in the first four of the World Championships. I think this match was my best one so far, I will continue to fight!” Milosz Redzimski

Comprehensive wins; for Hana Goda, the top seed, she beat Germany’s Mia Griesel, the no.7 seed, with just the loss of the opening game (8-11, 11-9, 11-7, 11-5, 11-9), for Suhana Saini, the no.4 seed, life was more exacting.

She needed the full seven games to halt the aspirations of Romania’s Bianca Mei Rosu, the no.6 seed (8-11, 11-5, 11-5, 11-8, 8-11, 10-12, 11-7).

“I feel very happy and I look forward for tomorrow, for the final as well; this match a good victory for me, we played before, I knew today would be hard, but I’m happy. I’m really happy for this match and I’m really confident for tomorrow, I’ll give my best.” Suhana Saini

The semi-finals and finals of both the boys’ singles and girls’ singles events will be played on Wednesday 8th December, the day play concludes in Vila Nova de Gaia.





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