TT Championship: China retains team titles
Chinese paddlers on Wednesday swept clean the team championships titles giving a thrashing to Japan at the Volkswagen 2012 World Junior Table Tennis Championships here.
The verdicts: boys won 3-1 and the girls 3-0.
Zhendong Fan began in a whirlwind fashion against Masaki Yoshida to win 11-9, 11-5, 11-7, it looked as if the Chinese were going through the motions.
The impression got strengthened further when Gaoyuan Lin accounted for Yuto Muramatsu in straight games of 11-3, 11-9, 11-4.
Asuka Sakai matched Chinese wits against Chenhao Xu 6-11, 13-11, 11-6, 7-11, 11-9 to delay the inevitable.
Then Zhendong Fan took charge and countered the defensive Muramatsu well. Despite taking a game off his Chinese rival, Muramatsu couldn't do much against a clever Fan, who slowed down his game to give the Japanese a measure of his own medicine.
There was a pattern to the Chinese win here. Yuling Zhu gave a perfect start winning 3-0 against Mima Ito 3-0 before Yuting Gu, though a little patchy, running over Ayuka Tanioka for a similar score line.
Incidentally, Tanoika too was part of the winning squad at Bratislava in the final two years ago. But the spark was missing from the Japanese. Without prolonging their agony, Ruochen Gu put the issue beyond Miyu Maeda to win 3-1.
It must be said to the credit of Ito, all of just 12, taking on the experienced Zhu, particularly in the second game.
The Japanese had chances coming her way, but the 17-year-old Chinese was a hard nut to crack. Her attacking strokes, both off back and forehands, were too scorching for Ito.
In comparison, Taioka was too defensive and it had paid dividends in her earlier matches.
But the clever Yuting was up to the task and simply rolled over her opponent without giving any hint of being troubled despite having been stretched by the Japanese teenager.
In the third game, Yuting marched ahead at 8-2 and accomplished the job very efficiently.
Unlike her teammates, Ruochen Gu is a first-timer at the worlds and she had a match in Miyu Maeda it was her first Volkswagen World Junior Championships final.
No doubt, the southpaw from Japan took the first game, attacking her way to penetrate into the loose defence of Gu.
But the Chinese was too quick to get into her rhythm to level and emplying her topspin to great effect decimated Maeda in the next three games for the set and the championship title.
Earlier, Romanian boys outwitted South Korea 3-2 and USA downed Croatia 3-1 to end their campaign here at fifth and sixth positions, respectively.
Among the girls, it was Chinese Taipei who finished fifth, beating Poland 3-1 and Germany defeated Hong Kong 3-2 to end behind them.
Junior Boys (Final): China bt Japan 3-1 (Zhendong Fan bt Masaki Yoshida 11-9, 11-5, 11-7, Gaoyuan Lin bt Yuto Muramatsu 11-3, 11-9, 11-4, Chenhao Xu lost to Asuka Sakai 11-6, 11-13, 6-11, 11-7, 9-11, Zhendong Fan bt YutoMuramatsu 11-6, 7-11, 11-7, 11-6).
Positions 5-8: Romania bt South Korea 3-2, USA bt Croatia 3-1.
Junior Girls (Final): China bt Japan 3-0 (Yuling Zhu bt Mima Ito 11-6, 13-11, 11-3, Yuting Gu bt Ayuka 11-9, 11-8, 11-2, Ruochen Gu bt Miyu Maeda 9-11, 11-4, 11-5, 11-4).
Positions 5-8: Chinese Taipei bt Poland 3-1, Germany bt Hong Kong 3-2.