Hyderabad – India, Dec 13: China repeated the success of one year earlier in Bahrain; when on Wednesday 12th December 2012, they won the Boys’ and Girls’ Team titles at the Volkswagen World Junior Championships in the Indian city of Hyderabad.
Once again, as in Bahrain, they beat Japan in both finals; in the Girls’ Team event a three-nil success was the end result, in the counterpart Boys’ Team competition the victory margin was three games to one.
It was the ninth time in ten editions of the World Junior Championships that China has captured the prestigious crowns. In 2004 in Linz, the Boys’ Team title was won by Japan whilst, more recently in Bratislava in 2010, Japan sensationally overcame China in the Girls’ Team final.
There was to be no repeat of the Bratislava miracle but Japan did create history; in the opening match in the Girls’ Team event they sent Mima ITO in to the lion’s den, at the age of 12 years and 53 days, she became the youngest ever player to compete in a World Championships final. Tthe age restriction in junior events is being born on or after 1st January 1994.
Alas for Mima ITO there was to be no staggering win; she was beaten by 17 year old ZHU Yuling (11-6, 13-11, 11-3) who set the standard for the rest of the team. GU Yuting, the winner of the Girls’ Singles title at the 2010 Youth Olympic Games, accounted for Ayuka TANIOKA (11-9, 11-8, 11-2) with GU Ruochen bringing matters to a conclusion by overcoming Miyu MAEDA (9-11, 11-4, 11-5, 11-4).
Meanwhile, in the Boys’ Team event, history was also made.
LIN Gaoyuan secured his fourth consecutive gold medal in the event; he was a member of the successful team in Cartagena de Indias in 2009, he repeated the success in Bratislava in 2010 and in Bahrain in 2011. He is the only player to have been a member of the successful gold medal winning team at four World Junior Championships.
In Hyderabad he beat Yuto MURAMATSU in the second match of the final (11-3, 11-9, 11-4) to give China a two matches to nil lead, after 15 year old FAN Zhendong had afforded China the perfect start by overcoming Masaki YOSHIDA (11-9, 11-5, 11-7). FAN Zhendong proved very much to be the “Man of the Match”, he brought matters to a conclusion by overcoming Yuto MURAMATSU (11-6, 7-11, 11-7, 11-6).
The one win for Japan was recorded by Asuka SAKAI, in the third match of the contest he beat XU Chenhao (6-11, 13-11, 11-6, 7-11, 11-9).
Play continues on Thursday 13th December 2012 with the individual events. —- ITTF/ Photo by Rémy Gros
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