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Team Semi-finals -2017 ITTF World Junior Championships

2017 ITTF World Junior Championships

Tuesday 28th November


More drama, salute Yuta Tanaka, the Japanese hero

The first two days of the 2017 ITTF World Junior Championships in Riva del Garda have seen moments of high drama, the contest in the Boys’ Team event between Japan and Korea which brought the evening of the third day of play, Tuesday 28th November, was no exception.

Japan beat Korea by three matches to two in atmosphere of high tension; one is which  Yuta Tanaka deserves the very highest of praise.

In the sixth game, losing three games to two, he trailed Baek Hogyun 6-9, he recovered to 8-9; the next point the Korean served in the net. It was a pivotal moment, it destroyed Baek Hogyun. Yuta Tanaka won the next two points before in the fifth game establishing a 7-1 lead. Baek Hogyun, the mind in turmoil fought bravely but the die was cast.

A pivotal moment but the moment for which I have the greatest admiration for Yuta Tanaka came at the end of the third game, Baek Hogyun leading 10-9 returned the ball high from wide of the court. The umpire judged edge not side the point was awarded to Korean; he led by two games to one. Yuta Tanaka looked stunned, after looking towards the bench, his colleagues, he walked quietly back to the end of the court.

There is an award for sportsmanship, whether that action was sportsmanship or not, it was exemplary behaviour. It is easy to be sporting when winning 9-0 or losing by that margin; when it is for a place in a World Championships final it takes a man of exceptional character; for me I’d give the award here and now.

Equally when he won the last point he stood motionless, he did not race the court surrounds to hug his colleague; he shook hands with his deflated opponent. Simply good manners, good behaviour, I salute you Mr Tanaka,

“I almost lost, I am really in a daze at the moment, I am sure what’s happening, I am so pleased, so grateful that I won; during the match on some occasions things did not go my way. I tried to put those moments out of my head.” Yuta Tanaka

The win in the last match came after Yuta Tanaka had lost the opening encounter when facing An Jaehyun (11-8, 11-1, 8-11, 10-12, 11-5); the player who later in the fixture accounted for Yuto Kizukuri (8-11, 11-6, 13-11, 11-7). The remaining wins for Japan were secured in the seconf match of the engagement by Yuto Kizukuri in opposition to Baek Hogyun (11-7, 11-5, 11-6) and in the immediately ensuing contesy by Masaki Takami against Kwak Yubin (11-8, 11-9, 14-12).

Success for Japan, earlier in the evening, it had been success for China and convincing success; they beat Romania, the no.6 seeds, by three matches to nil.

Xue Fei beat Cristian Pletea (11-8, 11-9, 13-11) before Wang Chuqin accounted for Rares Sipos (11-5, 11-5, 11-3) to set the scene for Xu Haidong to conclude matters, he succeeded but not in the same commanding manner as his colleagues, he lost the first game against Dragos Florin Oprea, before recovering to win the next three (9-11, 11-6, 11-6, 11-3).

“Of course there’s some pressure, especially because I really wanted to seal the third match victory for the team. My mentality in the first two games wasn’t good and my played some points that really exceeded my expectation; the first two games were tough. Towards the later part of the match, I was able to adjust accordingly. Mentally and tactically, I was more calm and better focused in the match, so the next games were easier for me.” Xu Haidong

The final of the Boys’ Team event between Japan and China is scheduled for 7.00pm (local time) on Wednesday 29th November.

2017 ITTF World Junior Championships

Tuesday 28th November


Authority asserted China and Japan reach final

China and Japan, the respective top seeds in the Junior Girls’ Team event at the 2017 ITTF World Junior Championships in Riva del Garda both recorded impressive wins at the quarter-final stage of proceedings on the evening of Tuesday 28th November.

Impressively, China accounted for Romania, the no.4 seed, by three matches to nil; on the adjacent table, Japan recorded the same margin of victory when facing Korea, the no.3 seeds.

Sun Yinsha gave China the perfect start by beating Adina Diaconu; the balance, the movement displayed was exemplary. One most admire the skills and splendid attitude of Adina Diaconu but in the rallies Sun Yingsha possessed the vital attribute of being able to keep the ball on the table one stroke longer than her adversary; a straight games outcome was the end result (11-3, 11-6, 11-6).

“It’s already the semi-final stage. Romania is one of the stronger teams in Europe. I played the match the same way I would have played a final. It’s also a way of getting prepared for the final tomorrow, to get myself into the rhythm. I was well prepared for match, so I didn’t face many difficulties on court during the match; certainly Diaconu is stronger than the other players I have faced in this tournament. It’s my first World Junior Championships, so I have not played against many European players before but her first three strokes were similar to Chinese players. She makes less unforced errors compared to other European players.” Sun Yingsha

Success for Sung Yingsha was followed by success for Wang Manyu who found Andreea Dragoman a most worthy opponent, a fact underlined by the second game; the Romanian matched her illustrious adversary blow for blow (11-4, 20-18, 11-3).

A splendid effort from Andreea Dragoman, it was the same from Tania Plaian against Shi Xunyao; a further straight game verdict concluded play (11-2, 11-5, 12-10).

Imposing from China, it was the same from Japan against Korea. Miyu Kato gave her team the start desired by beating Kim Youjin (11-5, 11-4, 11-4, before eventually, Miyuu Kihara overcame Kim Jiho (11-7, 8-11, 11-1, 6-11, 11-5) and Miyu Nagasaki ended matter by overcoming Shin Yubin (11-9, 9-11, 11-3, 12-10)

The final of the Girls’ Team event is scheduled for 5.00pm (local time) om Wednesday 29th November.