(by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor)
Tense battles, United States upsets seeding, wins thriller
Places in the quarter-finals at stake, tense contests concluded proceedings in the Boys’ Team event at the 2017 ITTF World Junior Championships in Riva del Garda, Italy on the evening of Monday 27th November.
Represented by Tobias Hippler, Gerritt Engemann and Cedric Meissner; Germany, the no.8 seeds, recorded a three-nil win against the host nation trio formed by Antonio Amato, Matteo Mutti and Daniele Pinto, the no.11 seeds, to secure second place in their group and thus progress to the last eight. Ffor Italy, as with other teams who finished the group stage in third place, they now compete for places nine twelve.
First place was secured by Japan, the top seeds, who selected from Yuto Kizukuri, Yukiya Uda, Yuta Tanaka and Masaki Takami; against Italy a three-nil had been posted, in opposition to Germany, the young players from the Land of the Rising Sun had emerged successful by three matches to one.
However, for the remaining teams who reserved last eight places, full distance five match duels were the order of proceedings; the United States being the outfit to cause the upset. The no.9 seeds, they beat Russia, the no.5 seeds; Kanak Jha was the backbone of the victory, Sharon Alguetti, the hero.
Kanak Jha beat both Artur Abusev (11-7, 4-11, 11-8, 11-3) and Vladimir Sidorenko (11-7, 12-10, 12-10) before Sharon Alguetti recovered from a two games to nil deficit to overcome Artur Abusev in the vital fifth match of the fixture (15-17, 7-11, 11-7, 12-10, 13-11).
Chinese Taipei represented by Lin Yun-Ju, Feng Yi-Han and Tai Ming-Wei duly finished in first place. Earlier in the day they had recorded three-one wins against both Russia and the United States.
Similarly for the French combination of Jules Rolland, Irvin Bertrand and Bastien Rembert, the no.7 seeds, a quarter-final place was reserved following a three-two win over India’s Manush Utpalbhai Shah, Manuv Vikash Thakkar and Snehit Suravajjula, the no.12 seeds. Thorn in the side of the French was Manav Vikash Thakkar, he beat both Irvin Bertrand (8-11, 13-11, 12-10, 11-8) and Jules Roland (12-10, 5-11, 12-10, 11-3).
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