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2018 ITTF World Junior Circuit Junior Boys and Girls Team Champions – Czech Republic

2018 ITTF World Junior Circuit – Czech Republic

Saturday 17th February


China the champions

Increasingly a major challenger for world honours but in the final of the Junior Boys’ Team event at the 2018 Czech Junior and Cadet Open in Hodonin on Saturday 17th February, it was defeat for Japan against Chinese excellence.

The trio comprising Yu Heyi, Xu Yingbin and Cao Yantao overcame Hiroto Shinozuka, Kakeru Sone and Kazuki Hamada by three matches to nil to seal the title.

Yu Heyi gave his team the perfect start by beating Hiroto Shinozuka (11-8, 11-8, 11-7), before Xu Yingbin overcame Kakeru Sone (11-8, 11-9, 11-9) and Cao Yantao defeated Kazuki Hamada to end matters (7-11, 11-3, 18-16, 11-5).

A comprehensive victory but at the semi-final stage life had been more testing for the Chinese combination. After recording a three-nil win against the team formed by Egypt’s Youssef Abdel-Aziz, Chile’s Nicolas Burgos and the Dominican Republic’s Mariano Lockward, Romania proved more than worthy opposition.

Rares Sipos beat Yu Heyi, the player who two days earlier had won the Junior Boys’ Singles event, to give his team the perfect start; impressively he emerged successful in three straight games (11-8, 11-7, 11-8).

Immediately Xu Yingbin levelled matters by beating Cristian Pletea (11-8, 11-8, 11-9), before Cao Yantao accounted for Dragos Florin Oprea (11-5, 11-6, 11-8) to give China the lead. Yu Heyi returned to the table to secure the victory but he came mightily close to defeat; in a contest where each game was on a knife-edge he beat Cristian Pletea by the very minimal two point margin in the deciding fifth game (12-10, 8-11, 11-9, 10-12, 11-9).

Earlier in the opening round, the Rares Sipos, Cristian Pletea and Dragos Florin Oprea had recorded a three-nil success in opposition to the Austrian combination of Maciej Kolodziejczyk, Thomas Ziller and Jonas Plomberger.

Meanwhile, in the adjacent half of the draw, Hiroto Shinozuka, Kakeru Sone and Kazuki Hamada had reached the final courtesy of a three-nil win against Poland’s Artur Grela, Jan Zandecki and Przemyslaw Walaszek, followed by a three-margin of victory in opposition to the Indian trio formed by Snehit Suravajjula, Manav Vikash Thakkar and Jeet Chandra.

The one success for India was recorded in the third match of the fixture when Jeet Chandra beat Kazuki Hamada (11-9, 11-5, 11-4).

China too strong

Romania impressed, as so often in the past they flew the flag for Europe but when China emerged the opposition, despite a spirited effort from Andreea Dragoman, on the evening of Saturday 17th February, it was defeat in the final of the Junior Girls’ Team event at the 2018 Czech Junior and Cadet Open in Hodonin.

There was no stopping the trio of Shi Xunhyao, Huang Fanzhen and Sun Yizhen; imposing, they secured the title without the loss of a single individual match.

In the final, after Shi Xunyao had beaten Andreea Hudusan (11-6, 11-4, 11-6), Andreea Dragoman extended Huang Fanzhen the full five games distance (13-11, 11-8, 5-11, 9-11, 11-4), before Sun Yizhen defeated Tania Plaian to end matters (15-13, 13-11, 11-6).

An impressive performance from Andreea Dragoman who proved very much the mainstay of Romanian progress; following three-nil quarter-final success against the Croatia outfit comprising Andrea Pavlovic, Marta Vukelic and Klara Bardac, she remained unbeaten in three-one penultimate round success against Poland.

She accounted for both Katarzyna Wegrzyn (11-4, 11-8, 11-4) and Anna Wegrzyn (12-10, 12-10, 6-11, 4-11, 11-7); the one remaining Romanian success being recorded by Tania Plaian in opposition to Agata Zakrzewska (11-5, 11-7, 11-4) in the third match of the engagement. The one win for Poland was recorded in the opening match of the fixture when Anna Wegrzyn beat Andreea Hudusan (11-8, 11-6, 11-7).

A test for Croatia, for China in addition to the performance of Andreea Dragoman in the final, there was just one further close examination for the champions designate.

After a three-nil win had been posted against the Japanese trio of Yumeno Soma, Yukari Sugasawa and Honami Nakamori, the same margin of victory was recorded against Indian outfit comprising Prapti Sen, Archana Girish Kamath and Selena Selvakumar.

Shi Xunyao beat Prapti Sen in straight games (11-3, 11-5, 11-2), a result Huamg Fanzhen emulated against Archana Girish Kamath (12-10, 11-8, 11-1); however, Sun Yizhen found Selena Selvakumar a most exacting adversary, she required the full five games to secure victory (6-11, 11-5, 10-12, 12-10, 11-8).