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Taicang – Sunday 8th July



Kakeru Sone, promise realised, a very special win

Successful, last year in France when he had won the Cadet Boys’ Singles title; earlier this year the Junior Boys’ Singles runner up in the Czech Republic and a quarter-finalist in Sweden, in Taicang on Sunday 8th July, Japan’s Kakeru Sone, won the Junior Boys’ Singles title at the 2018 China Junior and Cadet Open.

The promise shown on his European travels was realised.

Furthermore, at no stage of the competition was he ever extended the full distance; most notably on the concluding day of play, achieving what very few at any level have ever achieved, one after another ended Chinese aspirations.

At the quarter-final stage, the no.4 seed, he beat Quan Kaiyuan, the no.5 seed (11-2, 11-4, 6-11, 11-7, 11-9), prior to overcoming Yuan Licen, the no.2 seed and winner earlier this year in Oman (11-6, 11-5, 11-7, 11-8) to book his place in the final where the good form was maintained.

He beat Liu Yebo (11-6, 2-11, 11-5, 12-10, 11-6); three Chinese players beaten in home soil; that’s an achievement in its own right, one in future years Kakeru Sone can tell his grandchildren!

No current world ranking, Liu Yebo was very much the surprise finalist; notably ousting colleagues in the later rounds. At the quarter-final stage he beat Kuang Li, the no.3 seed and winner in May in Thailand (11-6, 12-10, 12-14, 11-7, 12-10), prior to ending the hopes of Cao Yantao, the no.8 seed (8-11, 11-9, 11-4, 12-10, 4-11, 11-8).

Defeat for Cao Yantao but he could take solace in the fact that at the quarter-final stage, he overcame Iran’s Amin Ahmadian, the top seed and winner in March in Tunisia (11-9, 7-11. 13-11, 11-8, 13-11) to reserve his place in the penultimate round for the first time this in his career. On his two previous excursions this year, he had departed proceedings at the quarter-final stage in both the Czech Republic and Poland.

Play concluded in Taicang, attention now turns to the city of Amman; the 2018 Jordan Junior and Cadet Open commences on Wednesday 25th July.

Shi Yunyao adds to earlier success

Winner earlier in the year in the Czech Republic and in Poland, the host nation’s Shi Xunyao collected her third ITTF World Junior Circuit Girls’ Singles title of the year when, on Sunday 8th July, she emerged successful on home soil in Taicang at the 2018 China Junior and Cadet Open.

Furthermore, she emerged victorious in the most impressive manner possible; on the concluding day of action, she did not surrender one single game.

The top seed, she beat colleague, Li Yuqi (11-9, 11-9, 13-11, 11-7) and Japan’s Haruna Ojio, the no.8 seed (11-5, 11-7, 11-5, 11-7), prior to securing the title at the final expense of Chen Yi, the no.7 seed and also from China (12-10, 11-6, 11-6, 11-7).

Chen Yi, who less than one hour earlier had also been the runner up in the Cadet Girls’ Singles event; notably accounted for Hong Kong’s Chau Wing Sze, the no.2 seed (11-3, 11-9, 4-11, 11-7, 11-6) at the quarter-final stage, prior to reserving her place in the final courtesy of success against compatriot Kuai Man, the no.7 seed, in a closely contested seven games duel decided by the minimal two point margin (12-14, 11-6, 11-5, 6-11, 8-11, 11-6, 11-9).

Later in the day Chen Yi was to lose to Kuai Man in the Cadet Girls’ Singles final (11-9, 7-11, 11-6, 11-5).

Disappointment for Chen Yi but only 13 years old, it was the third time this year that she had reached the later stages of an ITTF World Junior Circuit Girls’ Singles event; only 13 years old, in Thailand she departed proceedings in round three but notably, she was a quarter-finalist in Poland, a semi-finalist in Italy.

The runner up in Taicang, progress points a place on the top step of the Junior Girls’ Singles podium in the not too distant future for Chen Yi.

Matters concluded in Taicang, attention now turns to the city of Amman; the 2018 Jordan Junior and Cadet Open commences on Wednesday 25th July.