Yu Ziyang, the Junior Boys' Singles winner
Photo By: Donald Chin
Nikon 2012 Hong Kong Junior & Cadet Open - ITTF Premium Junior Circuit
Winner of the Junior Boys’ Singles title, just under one year earlier in September 2011 on home soil at the Chengdu Junior and Cadet Open, China’s Yu Ziyang repeated the success on Sunday 19th August 2012.
He emerged victorious at the Nikon Hong Kong Junior and Cadet Open, staged in the splendid facilities of the Queen Elizabeth Stadium, to collect the second ITTF Junior Circuit crown of his career.
Furthermore, it was his third title of the tournament. On day two with Liang Jinkun, Zhang Jiete and Guan Zeyu, he won Junior Boys’ Team gold; on the final day, in addition to his Junior Boys’ Singles success, he clinched the Junior Boys’ Doubles title with Liang Jinkun.
Just Like Zhang Jike
A fine effort and even more so when his age is taken into consideration; he was born in 1998.
He is only 14 years old and in 2013, still eligible to compete in Cadet age group events. Moreover, he is the same age as when Zhang Jike, the reigning Olympic and World champion, won the Boys’ Singles title at first ever ITTF Cadet Challenge held in the unpronounceable Hungarian city of Tiszaujvaros in July 2002.
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Beat Top Seed
In Hong Kong, he beat Singapore’s Xin Zhaoxu, the no.4 seed, in the quarter-finals (11-5, 11-4, 11-7, 9-11, 11-4), before ousting top seed and doubles partner, Liang Jingkin, in the semi-finals (11-6, 11-8, 13-11, 11-5) to book his place in the final where the good form continued.
He beat Zhang Jiete in the final (11-8, 11-3, 9-11, 11-7, 12-10).
Recently Entered World Order
A somewhat unexpected winner according to seeding; just as 15 year old Zhang Jiete was an unexpected finalist.
He was the 29th ranked player in the event and currently stands at no.821 on the Under 18 Boys’ World Rankings, having entered the list earlier this month following participation in the Asian Youth Championships. He played in the Cadet Boys’ Singles event, losing in the first round to compatriot, Liu Yuheng (11-6, 11-6, 11-5).
At the Nikon Hong Kong Junior and Cadet Open, he captured scalp after scalp.
At the quarter-final stage he beat Singapore’s Clarence Chew, the no.7 seed (8-11, 11-13, 11-7, 11-5, 11-1, 11-9), before ending the hopes of Japan’s Masahiro Otsuka, the no.11 seed (11-7, 9-11, 11-9, 11-6, 8-11, 11-9) to book his place in the final.
Zhang Jiete set to climb the World Rankings following his efforts in Hong Kong
Photo by Donald Chin
Junior Boys’ Doubles Success
A fine ending to the day for Yu Ziyang who earlier in the proceedings has partnered Liang Jingkun the Junior Boys’ Doubles succeed.
The top seeds, they accounted for Singapore’s third seeded pairing of Clarence Chew and Xin Zhaoxu in the semi-finals (4-11, 11-3, 11-4, 11-4), before overcoming fourth seeded Hong Kong outfit of Chiu Chung Hei and Li Hong Ming in the final (11-13, 11-7, 11-5, 12-10). At the semi-final stage, Chiu Chung Hei and Li Hong Ming had beaten Japan’s Ryotaro Ogata and Tonin Ryuzaki, the no.7 seeds, in four games (11-3, 11-8, 9-11, 11-7).
Satisfied with Silver Medal
“I think it was fair result, we reached the final and we gave an excellent semi-final performance”, said Chiu Chung Hei, who was playing in no less than his fourth ITTF Junior Circuit tournament in Hong Kong. “The Chinese players are very strong, very fast; so I’m happy with second place.”
Full House of Medals for Chinese Taipei
Gold and silver for China in the Junior Boys’ Singles; in the Cadet Boys’ Singles event it was gold, silver and bronze for Chinese Taipei.
Yang Heng-Wei, the no.2 seed, overcame Yu Cheng-Feng, the no.4 seed, in the final (4-11, 11-7, 11-7, 11-5), having one round earlier beaten Wen Yi-Cheng, the no.9 seed. The one non Chinese Taipei player to reach the semi-finals was the host association’s Hung Ka Tak, the top seed; he was beaten by Yu Cheng-Feng in a full distance five games duel (11-9, 11-7, 7-11, 8-11, 11-8).
Yu Cheng-Feng beaten by Yang Heng-Wei in an all-Chinese Taipei Cadet Boys’ Singles final
Photo by Donald Chin
Success for Hung Ka Tak
Defeat in the Cadet Boys’ Singles for Hung Ka Tak but there was success in the Cadet Boys’ Doubles, where he partnered Lee Yat Hin to gold.
The top seeds, they beat Singapore’s Chu Hoi Man and Tsoi Ka Wai in the semi-finals (11-9, 11-6, 11-7), before overcoming Chinese Taipei’s, Yang Heng-Wei and Yu Chen-Feng in the final (11-8, 9-11, 11-9, 12-10).
Partners for Four Months
“I’ve just started to pair up with Lee Yat Hin, we started playing together four months ago; I’m so thrilled with this unexpected result”, said Hung Ka Tak “After being beaten by Yang Heng-Wei and Yu Chen-Feng in the team event; we tried to analyze the reasons why we lost and adjusted our tactics.”
At the semi-final stage, Yang Heng-Wei and Yu Chen-Feng had beaten Hong Kong’s Kwak Man Ho and Tang Hoi Yen (11-6, 11-2, 9-11, 11-6); the victory recorded by Hung Ka Tak and Lee Yat Hin was sweet revenge.
In fact it was double sweet revenge.
Lee Yat Hin (left) and Hung Ka Tak (right), the Cadet Boys’ Doubles champions
Photo by Donald Chin