2018 ITTF World Junior Circuit Boys and Girls Singles' Champions – Czech Republic
2018 ITTF World Junior Circuit – Czech Republic
Thursday 15th February
Yu Heyi champion in Czech Republic
The winner in Hong Kong in 2016; on Thursday 15th February, China’s Yu Heyi collected his second career ITTF World Junior Circuit Boys’ Singles title when he emerged successful in Hodonin at the 2018 Czech Junior and Cadet Open.
Furthermore, it was his second title of the day; earlier in the proceedings he had secured the Junior Boys’ Doubles crown in harness with colleague Xu Yingbin.
Just ten days before celebrating his 18th birthday on Sunday 25th February, required to compete in the qualification group stage Yu Heyi rose to the challenge.
He accounted for Japan’s Kakeru Sone, the no.14 seed, at the final hurdle (8-11, 13-11, 12-10, 13-11, 9-11, 11-9), having at the quarter-final stage beaten Egypt’s Youssef Abdel-Aziz, the no.5 seed (11-9, 9-11, 11-6, 11-7, 7-11, 11-9) followed by success in opposition to compatriot Xu Yingbin, the no.8 seed (11-8, 11-7, 11-3, 11-5).
Meanwhile, in the opposite half of the draw, in the later stages, Kakeru Sone accounted for Cao Yantao, like Yu Heyi from China and required to qualify (11-5, 4-11, 11-8, 11-3, 11-4), prior to reserving his place in the final courtesy of success against Azerbaijan’s Yu Khinshang, also a qualifier (8-11, 13-11, 12-10, 13-11, 9-11, 11-9).
Success against Xu Yingbin, in the Junior Boys’ Doubles event it was success in partnership with his colleague; the no.10 seeds, on the second day of play they beat the combination formed by Austria’s Maciej Kolodzieczcjk and Ioannis Sgouropoulos of Greece, the no.4 seeds (7-11, 11-8, 8-11, 11-2, 11-9) prior to securing the title at the final expense of India’s Manush Utpalbhai Shah and Manav Vikash Thakkar, the no.2 seeds (14-12, 11-8, 9-11, 13-11).
In the opposite half of the draw, in the penultimate round, Manush Utpalbhai Shah and Manav Vikash Thakkar had ended the progress of the formation comprising Egypt’s Youssef Abdel-Aziz and Italy’s Carlo Rossi, the no.3 seeds (13-11, 11-8, 11-7).
Thursday 15th February
Shi Xunyao wins in Hodonin
Crowned World Junior champion in Cape Town in 2016; China’s Shi Xunyao made the best possible start to her New Year’s campaign by emerging victorious on Thursday 15th February at the 2018 Czech Junior and Cadet Open in Hodonin.
Not only did she win the Junior Girls’ Singles title, earlier in the day, in partnership with colleague Sun Yizhen, she secured Junior Girls’ Doubles gold.
The no.2 seed, in the later stages Shi Xunyao accounted for Lucie Gauthier of France, the no.13 seed (11-5, 11-3, 11-6, 11-5) and Russia’s Mariia Tailakova (8-11, 11-9, 11-7, 11-8, 11-13, 11-3), prior to securing the title at the final expense of colleague Huang Fanzhen, a contest in which at one stage appeared to be slipping from her grasp. She lost the opening three games before winning the next four to secure victory (5-11, 12-14, 8-11, 11-8, 12-10, 11-7, 11-3).
In the opposite half of the draw, Huang Fanzhen, who like Mariia Tailakova had been required to compete in the qualification group stage of proceedings, had proved most impressive at the quarter-final and semi-final stages. After accounting for Nadezhda Bogdanova of Belarus, the no.12 seed, in four straight games (11-7, 11-5, 11-9, 11-8), in the penultimate round she repeated the feat when facing compatriot Sun Yizhen (11-5, 11-6, 11-4, 11-5), likewise a qualifier.
An all Chinese Junior Girls’ Doubles final, it was the same in the Junior Girls’ Doubles competition; Shi Xunyao and Sun Yizhen, the no.11 seeds, after beating Serbia’s Tijana Jokic and Sabina Surjan, the top seeds (11-4, 12-10, 11-6) accounted for Chen Yi and Huang Fanzhen (3-11, 11-8, 11-8, 11-6) to seal the title.
Not seeded, in the counterpart semi-final, Chen Yi and Huang Fanzhen had beaten the Belarus partnership of Marharyta Baltushite and Nadezhda Bogdanova, the no.2 seeds (11-4, 8-11, 14-12, 11-4).
It is the first ITTF World Junior Circuit Girls’ Singles title won by Shu Xunyao; her previous best was last year on home soil in Taicang and the following week in Hong Kong when she reached the semi-final round.