WORLD JUNIOR CHAMPIONSHIPS
Sunday 9th December
Chinese clean sweep, seventh time all seven
Xu Haidong won the Boys’ Singles title at the 2018 World Junior Championships in Bendigo, Australia on Sunday 9th December and in so doing for the seventh time in the history of the tournament China departed with all seven titles.
Winners of both the Boys’ Team and Girls’ Team titles on the fourth day of action, on the concluding day, Qian Tianyi donned the Girls’ Singles crown, the success coming after Xu Haidong had partnered Xiang Peng to Boys’ Doubles success and Shi Xunyao had joined forces with Xu Yingbin to claim Mixed Doubles gold. One match later partnering Huang Fanzhen, Shi Xunyao had reserved the top step of the Girls’ Doubles podium.
The no.4 seed, Xu Haidong secured the title at the final expense of Japan’s Yukiya Uda, the no.9 seed (13-11, 11-4, 8-11, 11-9, 11-8) and thus in an age when the shake-hands grip is overwhelmingly dominant, a pen-hold grip player again claimed the top prize. One year ago Xue Fei had been crowned champion beating Sweden’s Truls Moregard in the final, the player who had caused the downfall of Xu Haidong.
A repeat of one year ago and for Qian Tianyi a repeat of the success enjoyed earlier this year on the afternoon of Saturday 18th August at the 2018 Asian Junior and Cadet Championships in Myanmar. On that occasion Qian Tianyi had beaten Shi Xunyao in five games (11-8, 11-6, 13-11, 7-11, 11-3), in Bendigo, the contest was much closer, she needed the full seven games to secure victory (11-8, 5-11, 9-11, 11-5, 9-11, 11-9, 11-8).
Silver for Shi Xunyao, earlier in the day partnering Xu Yingbin, the no.5 seeds, an all Chinese final had witnessed success in opposition to Yu Heyi and Qian Tianyi, the no.4 seeds (11-8, 3-11, 11-5, 9-11, 11-5); the win coming before joining forces with Huang Fenzhen to secure Girls’ Doubles gold. The no.3 seeds, at the final hurdle the duo ended the brave run of China’s Miyu Kihara and Yumeno Soma, the no.5 seeds (11-7, 11-8, 11-6).
Overall three titles for Shi Xunyao, for Xu Haidong it was exactly the same number, prior to closing the curtain on proceedings, he had partnered Xiang Peng to Boys’ Doubles success; at the final hurdle they had beaten Russia’s Maksim Grebnev and Lev Katsman (11-9, 11-8, 11-3).