2019 Asian Junior & Cadet Championships
Ulaanbaatar, Wednesday 4th September
Day of shocks and surprises
Minimal room for error, only first position in the initial stage group gained a main draw place in the junior boys’ singles and junior girls’ singles events at the 2019 Asian Junior and Cadet Championships; on Thursday 5th September, there was no shortage of upsets in Ulanbaataar.
In his very first match, Singapore’s Pang Yew En Koen, the junior boys’ singles top seed, was beaten by Japan’s Kakeru Sone (11-8, 11-7, 11-7). The defeat in effect ended his hopes, Kakeru Sone overcame Mongolia’s Temuulen Myandal (11-5, 11-5, 11-5) to end the group unbeaten and in first place.
Likewise there was an unexpected defeat for China’s Zeng Beixun, the no.7 seed and one year earlier the cadet boys’ singles winner at the 2018 Asian Junior and Cadet Championships in Myanamar. He was beaten by Korea Republic’s Park Gyunhyeon (10-12, 10-12, 11-9, 11-7, 11-9) who then accounted for Thailand’s Veerapat Puthikungasern (11-6, 11-4, 11-8) to reserve first place.
Major upsets, it was the same in the junior girls’ singles event. Japan’s Miyuu Kihara, the winner earlier this year in May at the 2019 ITTF Challenge Croatia Open and no.11 seed was beaten in her opening contest by Korea Republic’s Lee Daeun, after having held a two games to nil lead (12-14, 7-11, 11-0, 11-8, 12-10).
Good form from Lee Daeun; that good form was maintained later in the day. She overcame Malaysia’s Karen Lyne (11-9, 11-9, 11-9) and thus confirmed first place.
Equally, there was no place in the draw for China’s Kuai Man. The no.9 seed, she was beaten by DPR Korea’s Pak Su Gyong (12-10, 11-8, 8-11, 11-7). Defeat for Kuai Man but there was hope; on her very next visit to the table, Pak Su Gyong suffered at the hands of Japan’s Miyu Nagasaki, she was beaten in straight games (11-1, 11-6, 11-7).
Thus if Kuai Man was to proceed, she had to beat Miyu Nagasaki without the loss of a single game; it didn’t happen, she won in four games (11-4, 14-16, 11-9, 11-6), the long drawn out second game proving pivotal. Games ratio decided the final outcome, first place for Miyu Nagasaki (4:3), followed by Kuai Man (4:4) and Pak Su Gyong (3:4).
Disappointment for Pak Su Gyong following an outstanding performance, for colleague, Pak Su Gyong it was a different scenario. In her opening contest she caused an upset of note by beating beat Singapore’s Goi Rui Xuan, the no.7 seed (14-12, 11-8, 5-11, 11-8), before securing first place courtesy of success against Hong Kong’s Ng Wing Lam (11-3, 11-5, 11-5).
Meanwhile, in the cadet boys’ singles event, amongst the most renowned, it was first place in the group; China’s Chen Yuanyu, Japan’s Sora Matsushima and Iran’s Navid Shams all secured top spots as did Singapore’s Izaac Quek Yong.
Success for the top four names; in the cadet girls’ singles competition, there was one casualty of note. China’s Chen Yi, Japan’s Kaho Akae and Sakura Yokoi, the respective top three names reserved group first places and thus advanced to the main draw. Alas, for Chinese Taipei there was no such progress, Tsai Yun-En was experienced defeat at the hands of Korea Republic's Kim Nayeong (7-11, 13-11, 11-4, 11-8). Kim Nayeong remained unbeaten to top the group.
Similar to the junior boys' singles and junior girls' singles events, only top spot in the group ensured progress.
A busy day and as the curtain closed, there was another upset on what was not a good day for Pang Yew En Koen; partnering colleague, Goi Rui Xuan, the no.2 seeds, in the second round, they suffered defeat at the hands of Japan’s Yukiya Uda and Miyuu Kihara (11-7, 15-17, 11-9, 11-4).
Problems for the no.2 seeds, no such difficulties for the pair at the top of the order; China’s Xu Yingbin and Shi Xinyao caused Singapore more pain, they ended the hopes of Josh Chua Shao Han and Wong Xin Rui (14-12, 11-4, 11-5).