2019 Asian Junior & Cadet Championships
Ulaanbaatar, Friday 6th September
Haruna Ojio outstanding
Xu Yingbin and Shi Xunyao won the first title to be decided in the individual events at the 2019 Asian Junior and Cadet Championships in Ulaanbaator.
On the evening of Friday 6th September they struck mixed doubles gold; however, on the penultimate day of action in the Mongolian capital city, they were not the star attraction; that distinction belonged to Japan’s Haruna Ojio.
A straight games win was the order of proceedings in the mixed doubles final against colleagues Liu Yebo and Wu Yangchen (12-10, 11-8, 11-4); earlier in the evening the same outcome had been anticipated when Shi Xunyao, the top seed, faced Japan’s 15 year old Haruna Ojio at the quarter-final stage of the junior girls’ singles event.
After the opening game had concluded, Shi Xunyao was very much on course but from the start of the second game, she lost direction; the backspin artistry of the Japanese teenager combined with innovative sidespin returns and attacking play from the forehand when the chance arose, destroyed the confidence of the tournament favourite. Haruna Ojio prevailed in five games (9-11, 11-6, 11-4, 11-5, 11-6).
Success for Harina Ojio; there was also quarter-final success for her colleagues Miyu Nagasaki and Kyoka Idesawa. Likewise, Miyu Nagasaki caused China pain; she accounted for Huang Yingqi (11-4, 11-5, 6-11, 11-7, 9-11, 6-11, 11-4); in an almost equally hard fought encounter, Kyoka Idesawa ended the hopes of DPR Korea’s Kim Un Song (8-11, 11-7, 2-11, 11-2, 11-7, 11-5).
At the semi-final stage Haruna Ojio meets Miyu Nagasaki; Kyoka Idesawa confronts Wu Yangchen, the one surviving member of the Chinese team. She reserved her last four place courtesy of success in opposition to Korea Republic’s Lee Daeun (11-4, 11-5, 6-11, 11-7, 9-11, 6-11, 11-4).
Testing times for China in the junior girls’ singles quarter-finals; it was somewhat different in the junior boys’ singles competition, Xu Yingbin, Liu Yebo and Xiang Peng all reserved last four places. Xu Yingbin beat Japan’s Kakeru Sone (11-5, 11-6, 11-7, 11-5), Liu Yebo overcame Korea Republic’s Park Gyuhyeon (11-3, 14, 11-8, 11-6); Xiang Peng ended the hopes of Yukiya Uda (11-9, 11-6, 11-3, 11-8). Defeats for Japan but there was success, Hiroto Shinozuka ended the progress of India’s Manush Utpalbhai Shah (11-7, 11-2, 11-9, 11-6).
Hiroto Shinozuka now meets Xiang Peng in the penultimate round, Xu Yingbin confronts Liu Yebo.
Differing fortunes for Japan but overall it was a most successful day. In the final of the junior boys’ doubles event Yukiya Uda and Shunsuke Togami meet colleagues Kakeru Sone and Hiroto Shinozuka; in the counterpart junior girls’ doubles final, Miyuu Kihara and Miyu Nagasaki face Korea Republic’s Shin Yubin and Ryu Hanna.
Similarly, Japan is present in the cadet girls’ singles final; Kaho Akae opposes China’s Chen Yi; in the cadet boys’ doubles decider, China’s Chen Yuanyu meets India’s Payas Jain.
Play concludes in Ulaanbaatar on Saturday 7th September.
Editor: Ian Marshall