2019 ITTF World Cadet Challenge
Thursday 31st October
Asian dominant at ITTF World Cadet Challenge
Five days of intense competition concluded, when the curtain closed at the 2019 ITTF World Cadet Challenge in the Polish town of Władysławowo on the evening of Thursday 31st October, the most successful continent on duty was that of Team Asia; the leading name being that of Japan’s Kaho Akae.
After earlier in the week, having secured bronze in the girls’ team event, alongside Korea Republic’s Lee Yeonhui, Singapore’s Zhou Jingyi and India’s Yashaswini Ghorpade, the 15 year old ended the tournament on a high note.
She partnered Lee Yeonhui to girls’ doubles success, the pair accounting for the combination of Russia’s Vlada Voronina and Romania’s Elena Zaharia in the final (12-10, 11-5, 13-11, 11-5), prior to securing the girls’ singles title by once again succeeding against Elena Zaharia (12-10, 11-5, 13-11, 11-5).
Two titles for Kaho Akae, it was the same for colleague, Sora Matsushima. Lining up alongside Korea Republic’s Jang Seongil, India’s Payas Jain and Iran’s Navid Shams, he led Asia to success in the boys’ team event. Later he partnered Navid Shams to boys’ doubles gold, a final which also had an Asian interest. The duo accounted for Singapore’s Izaac Quek Yong and Romania’s Iulian Chirita (6-11, 11-4, 12-10, 7-11, 11-6).
Notably, Izaac Quek Yong and Yemen’s Ebrahim Abdulhakim Gubran alongside Iulian Chirita and Spain’s Daniel Bersoza formed the outfit that establish a piece of history. A 3-0 defeat against Asia was the order of the day in the boys’ team final. It was the same situation for the Hopes Team in the girls’ event when facing Europe, an outfit in which Singapore’s Ser Kin Qian and Malaysia Lee Xin Ni joined forces with Ireland’s Sophie Earley and Emily Tan of the United States.
Defeats but the fact to note was that it was the first time a Hopes Team had ever reached the final in either discipline at an ITTF World Cadet Challenge tournament.
Additionally on the concluding day of play in the boys’ singles event, there was a bronze medal for Sora Matsushima, silver for Jang Seongil. Both lost to the champion elect, Romania’s Darius Movileanu, by the very narrowest of margins, Sora Matsushima at the semi-final stage (11-7, 11-8, 8-11, 11-7, 9-11, 11-13, 11-9), Jang Seongil in the final, after having held a three games to nil lead (13-15, 8-11, 11-8, 11-5, 12-10, 11-6, 11-9).
Overall for Asia, a most successful endeavour.