All-Chinese affair in three finals

Zhang Binyue of China

Chinese paddlers continued to hold sway in the 2018 Oman Junior and Cadet Open-ITTF Premium Junior Circuit  at the Sultan Qaboos Sports Complex (SQSC) on Sunday morning.

Of the 12 finalists in six categories, there were seven Chinese while rest were from Iran, Yemen Thailand, Egypt and India.

Thailand’s Jinnipa Sawettabut, No 23 on the current U18 girls’ world rankings, the highest-listed girl player on duty, was one of the five non-Chinese player, as she set up a summit clash in the junior (U17) girls' with China's Zhang Binyue.

After accounting for Egypt’s Hana Goda (11-5, 11-8, 14-12,11-5), Jinnipa overcame Egypt’s Farida Badawy (11-6, 11-9, 11-5, 11-7). In the opposite half of the draw Zhang reserved her place in the final courtesy of success in opposition to teammate Zang Xiaotong (11-2, 5-11, 11-6, 8-11, 11-6, 11-4).

At the quarterfinal stage she had ousted India’s Swastika Ghosh (7-11, 11-9, 7-11, 11-8, 11-9, 9-11, 11-5).


Jinnipa Sawettabut of Thailand

In the title-deciding junior boys’ contest, it will be an all-Chinese affair as Xu Haidong confronts Yuan Licen.

There were intense contests in the latter stages of the junior boys’ event, the level of play quite breathtaking with Iran’s Amin Ahmadian the young man to catch the eye.

Amin beat China’s Liang Yanning (11-9, 12-10, 8-11, 11-7, 3-11, 9-11, 11-8) before losing to Xu Haidong (13-11, 11-5, 11-5, 10-12, 11-6) in the semifinals. Haidong was impressive, who like Yu Licen, had earlier ended Egyptian hopes.

At the quarterfinal stages, Haidong beat Ammar Attia (11-2, 11-1, 11-2, 11-7) and Yuan Licen accounted for Ziad Elshawa (11-3, 11-4, 11-8, 11-2).

A semifinal place reserved, Licen overcame colleague, Quan Kaiyuan (6-11, 11-9, 12-10, 12-10, 8-11, 11-7) to book his place in the final.

Also in the cadet (U14) boys’ event, it will also be an all-Chinese title clash. Iran's Radim Khayyan dented China’s aspirations by overcoming Li Haoteng (11-2, 8-11, 13-11, 13-11) to raise hopes but then experienced defeat at the hands of Xiang Peng, also from China (11-5, 11-8, 11-9).

In the final, Xiang meets his colleague, Xiong Mengyang. Xiong beat Sweden’s Linus Keraenen (11-9, 11-8, 11-5)  in the quarterfinals prior to recording a penultimate round success against compatriot Tao Yuchang (8-11, 11-4, 11-8, 6-11, 11-7).

Meanwhile, an all-Chinese cadet girls’ singles semifinals witnessed success for Kuia Man and Li Yuqi. Kuia accounted for Liu Xingchi (11-13, 16-14, 11-8, 11-6) and Li for Ma Xinyue (11-8, 17-15, 11-8).

In the hopes (U12) events, the only category where the Chinese paddlers are not participating, the boys’ final will pit Iran’s Mohammad Amin Samadi against Yemen’s Ebrahim Abdulhakim Gubran  while in the girls’ title decider, India’s Suhana Saini plays Egypt’s Hana Goda.

Oman's only representative in the main round of cadet singles, Maadh al Shahi went down in the round of 32 against Scotland's Chen Borui 2-3.

Ahmed al Riyami and Mohammed al Mutawa also lost in the last-16 stage of hopes category to Borui and Qatar's Sultan al Kuwari respectively.

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