China’s clean sweep in junior and cadet events
It was a clean sweep by Chinese paddlers in the junior and cadet singles categories at the 2018 Oman Junior and Cadet Open-ITTF Premium Junior Circuit, which concluded at the Sultan Qaboos Sports Complex (SQSC) on Sunday.
The success in singles follows Chinese domination in all four team events earlier in the week.
On Sunday, China added a further four titles to its tally.Yuan Licen and Zhang Binyue won the respective junior boys’ and junior girls’ events, the wins coming after Xiang Peng and Li Yuqi had emerged as the cadet boys’ and cadet girls’ champions.
An all-Chinese final witnessed success for Licen by the narrowest of margins against Xu Haidong (11-5, 5-11, 11-8, 11-13, 13-11, 9-11, 11-9). For Zhang, there was tension and victory by the narrowest of margins, as she got past Thailand’s Jinnipa Sawettabut in five games (11-7, 11-8, 11-4, 9-11, 11-5).
Li Yuqi beat teammate Kuai Man (11-8, 12-10, 11-5) in the cadet girls' final, the crucial phase of the contest being the second game where at one stage Li Yuqi led 10-4, before taking a 'time out' at 10-8 and eventually succeeding.
There were no such travails for Xiang, a forehand top spin at every possible opportunity and victory against compatriot Xiong Mengyang was secured (11-6, 11-4, 11-7).
Throughout the tournament, the quality of play displayed by those competeing in the hopes age group, players under 12 years old, was an eye-opener.
Not only the level of play was high but the manner in which the young players extolled their skills was encouraging for the future.
All four finalists performed creditably. India’s Suhana Saini secured the hopes girls’ title beating Egypt’s Hana Goda in the final (10-12, 11-7, 11-6, 11-8), the win being prior to Iran’s Mohammad Amin Samadi overcoming Yemen’s Ebrahim Abdulhakim Gubran (11-9, 11-8, 11-8) to be crowned hopes’ boys champion.
Later, H E Sheikh Saad al Saadi, Minister of Sports Affairs, who was the chief guest, awarded the trophies, in the presence of Abdullah Bamkhalef, the Oman Table Tennis Committee chairman, and other sports officials.