2019 ITTF World Junior Circuit
Saturday 21st September
Again all four for China
On the second day of play at the 2019 Croatia Junior and Cadet Open, China secured the top step of the podium in the boys’ singles and boys’ doubles as well as the girls’ singles and girls’ doubles events in the junior age group category.
It was the same on the penultimate day of action, a clean sweep in the team events was completed.
Xiong Mengyang, Niu Guankai and Yang Qulong won junior boys’ team gold; in the junior girls’ team competition it was the top prize for the combination of Yuan Yuan, Wu Yangchen and Zang Xiaotong. Likewise, the cadet boys’ team competition, Chen Yuanyu, Lin Shidong and Zhang Minghao emerged successful, a feat that was emulated in the cadet girls’ team event by Chen Yi, Kuai Man and Leng Yutong.
Winner of the junior boys’ singles title, Niu Guankai proved the mainstay of his team’s success; in the final facing colleagues Cao Yantao, Quan Kaiyuan and Liang Guodong he remained unbeaten accounting for both Quan Kaiyuan (11-5, 12-10, 11-8) and Cao Yantao (11-8, 11-9, 7-11, 8-11, 11-6) in a full distance 3-2 success.
Likewise, prior to a 3-0 semi-final win in opposition to Chinese Taipei’s Tai Ming-Wei, Li Hsin-Yu and Peng Chih; Niu Guankai had emerged the backbone of the 3-2 win in opposition to the outfit formed by Japan’s Yuto Abe and Hiroto Sato who joined forces with Germany’s Dominik Jonack. Impressively, he beat both Hiroto Sato (11-7, 13-11, 11-5) and Yuto Abe (13-11, 6-11, 11-7, 5-11, 13-11).
Full distance five match wins for the boys’ team champions; for Yuan Yuan, Wu Yangchen and Zang Xiaotong, a 3-1 margin of victory was the outcome in the junior girls’ team final in opposition to Romania’s Elena Zaharia, Tania Plaian and Denisa Uritu. The player to cause China problems was Elena Zaharia, in the opening match of the fixture she overcame Yuan Yuan (4-11, 12-10, 11-9, 3-11, 11-7).
Earlier in the day en route to the final, the Chinese trio had recorded a 3-0 win in opposition to Italy’s Jamila Laurenti, Arianna Barani and Valentino Roncallo, prior to securing the same margin of success in the penultimate round when facing Chinese Taipei’s Cai Fong-En, Chen Ci-Xuan and Chu Yi-Ching.
Meanwhile, in both the cadet boys’ team and cadet girls’ team events the titles were secured without an individual match being surrendered.
At the quarter-final stage of the cadet boys’ team event, Chen Yuanyu, Lin Shidong and Zhang Minghao secured a 3-0 win against Spain’s Daniel Berzosa and Marc Miro, before enjoying the same margin of success in opposition to Chinese Taipei’s Chang Yu-An and Chen Yen-Ting. A place in the final booked, the outcome was no different, a comprehensive win was recorded in opposition to Hungary’s David Szantosi and Erik Huzsvar.
Likewise, in the cadet girls’ team event, Chen Yi, Kuai Man and Leng Yutong proved irrepressible; a direct entry to the semi-finals, they beat the Russian combination of Anasatasiia Beresnova, Anastasia Sizova and Vasilisa Danilova, prior to securing the title at the final expense of Brazil’s Guilia Takahashi and Laura Watanabe.
Play concludes on Sunday 22nd September, the day on which the winners of the cadet boys’ singles, cadet girls’ singles, cadet boys’ doubles and cadet girls’ doubles will be decided; more gold for China? No doubt.