ITALIAN JUNIOR AND CADET OPEN
Thursday 21st March
Xiang Peng wins in Lignano
Listed in top spot on the under 18 boys’ world rankings, Xiang Peng won the junior boys’ singles title at the 2019 Italian Junior and Cadet Open in Lignano on Thursday 21st March; thus more than justifying his no.1 seeded position in the tournament.
In an all Chinese final, against an adversary likewise born in 2003, he recovered from a two games to nil deficit to beat Zeng Beixun, a young man who had been required to compete in the qualification group stage, to arrest the title (2-11, 11-7, 11-5, 11-3, 11-6, 11-9).
Most impressive from both players, it had been the same earlier in the day en route to the final.
At the quarter-final stage Xiang Peng had accounted for Italy’s Andrea Puppo, the no.31 seed (11-6, 11-3, 11-8, 9-11, 11-4), before overcoming Russia’s Maksim Grebhev, the no.3 seed (11-3, 11-8, 11-6, 12-10) to reserve his place in the final.
Similarly, in a most efficient manner, Zeng Beixun had ousted Germany’s Kay Stumper, the no.4 seed (11-6, 11-4, 11-8, 11-8), prior to recording a six games win in opposition to Russia’s Lev Katsman, the no.2 seed (11-9, 11-4, 11-13, 9-11, 11-7, 11-6).
Success for Xiang Peng meant that he added to the titles won last year when he had succeeded on the ITTF World Junior Circuit in Poland and had emerged successful at the Asian Junior and Cadet Championships in Myanmar.
Meanwhile, for Zeng Beixun, it was just one step lower; last year in Serbia he had won both the junior boys’ singles and cadet boys’ singles titles. Also he emerged successful at the ITTF World Cadet Challenge and in the cadet boys’ singles event in Myanmar.
Gold for Xiang Peng, silver for Zeng Beixun; in the junior boys’ doubles event it was the reverse order. At the final hurdle Gao Yang and Zeng Beixun beat Hang Youzheng and Xiang Peng in five games (4-11, 7-11, 11-9, 11-8, 11-7).
The junior boys’ singles event concluded; the junior boys’ team and cadet boys’ team events now follow.