BAHRAIN JUNIOR AND CADET OPEN
Russia dominant in Bahrain, titles for Lev Katsman and Kristina Kazantseva
The top seeds and favourites for gold, Russia’s Lev Katsman and Kristina Kazantseva won the respective junior boys’ singles and junior girls’ singles titles at the 2019 Bahrain Junior and Cadet Open in Manama on Monday 11th February.
Furthermore, on the concluding day of action, in harness with colleagues, both secured two titles; Lev Katsman partnered Artem Tikhonov to junior boys’ doubles gold, Kristana Kazantseva joined forces with Olga Vishniakova to secure the junior girls’ doubles title. Thus they added to the junior girls’ team success of earlier in the week.
Impressively, in the junior boys’ singles event, Lev Katsman ended French hopes; at the quarter-final stage he beat Myshaal Sabhi (5-11, 11-8, 11-9, 11-6, 11-5), prior to accounting for Dorian Zeng, the no.4 seed (11-7, 9-11, 11-7, 11-5, 11-6) andLilian Bardet, the no.2 seed (11-7, 13-11, 11-9, 13-11) to reserve the top step of the podium.
Hard fought contests, it was similar for Kristina Kazantseva. She ended Indian aspirations by overcoming Manushree Patel (11-4, 12-10, 9-11, 8-11, 11-3, 11-9), before reserving her place in the final courtesy of success in opposition to Swastika Ghosh, the no.3 seed (10-12, 11-9, 11-7, 11-9, 11-8). A place in the final reserved, she clinched the title at the final expense of a familiar opponent, she accounted for Olga Vishniakova, the no.4 seed (11-8, 11-5, 11-5, 11-8).
An ideal end to the day for the Russians; earlier Lev Katsman and Artem Tikhonov had won the junior boys’ doubles title accounting for India’s Payas Jain and Deepit Patel in the final (11-5, 11-6, 14-12). Kristina Kazantseva and Olga Vishniakova had likewise secured the junior girls’ doubles top prize but in a more testing manner. They had to recover from a two games to nil deficitbefore eventually overcoming India’s Swastika Ghosh and Maushree Patil (9-11, 8-11, 11-8, 11-6, 11-6).
Meanwhile, Payas Jain won the cadet boys’ singles event, at the final expense of the Czech Republic’s Simon Belik (11-9, 5-11, 11-8, 11-7). Success for India; on the ITTF World Junior Circuit that is not new but surely there was a first. The mini-cadet boys’ singles title was won by Yemen; EbrahimAbdulhakim Gubran beat Iran’s Mohammad Amin Samadi in a closely contested five games engagement (10-12, 11-9, 11-5, 10-12, 11-7) to claim gold.
Success for India in the cadet boys’ singles event, the south Asian country also enjoyed secured both gold and silver in the counterpart cadet girls’ singles competition. Anargya Manjunath beat Yashaswini Deepak Ghorpade in the final to claim the title (11-9, 5-11, 11-6, 11-9).
Titles for Russia, India and Yemen, there was also gold for Egypt, Hana Goda won the mini-cadet girls’ singles event title beating Syria’s Hend Zaha(11-5, 11-5, 11-5) in the final.
Play in Manama concluded, attention now turns to Hodonin, the Czech Junior and Cadet Open commences on Wednesday 13th February.