Morning Belongs to Chinese Taipei - Table Tennis Asian Cup
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Chuang Chih-Yuan – Photo by Warren Little

Surprise Win and Fighting Success, Morning Belongs to Chinese Taipei

Surprise Win and Fighting Success, Morning Belongs to Chinese Taipei

2016 ITTF Nakheel Asian Cup
Courtesy of ITTF

Matters underway, the opening morning of play, Wednesday April 28th, at the 2016 Nakheel Asian Cup in the splendors of the Dubai World Trade Centre belonged to Chinese Taipei.

Chiang Hung-Chieh caused an upset, Chuang Chih-Yuan responded when crisis called.

Shoulder Injury
Impressively, Chiang Hung-Chieh, the no.12 seed and nursing a slight shoulder injury which needed strapping and ice at the conclusion of the contest as a precaution for future endeavors, accounted for Korea’s Jung Youngsik, the no.6 seed (11-8, 14-12, 11-8).

Soon after, Chuang Chih-Yuan, the no.3 seed, eventually overcame the ever reliable Singaporean, Gao Ning (11-6, 8-11, 11-8, 10-12, 11-9).

Short Memory
“I don’t think I have never won against him in the past, his skill level is indeed higher than mine”, said Chiang Hung-Chieh who clearly has a short memory.

He beat Jung Youngsik in 2006 at the Swedish Junior Open and in 2008 at the Volkswagen Open Korea, before losing to the athletic Korean at the 2011 ITTF World Tour Slovenia Open and at the 2013 East Asia Games.

Clear Mind
“Today I made adjustments to my strategies against him and handled each point more carefully”, added Chiang Hung-Chieh. “More importantly, my mind set during the match was the key; I wasn’t thinking much about the scores, just trying to play to my best for each point.”

Without doubt it was the performance of the morning; for Chuang Chih-Yuan it was success in the battle of the morning.

Always Difficult
“It’s always very difficult against Gao Ning, he likes the tempo at which I play; he is comfortable against me”, said Chuang Chih-Yuan. “I cannot afford to make mistakes against him, today I made too many unforced errors, his consistency keeps you under pressure all the time; also, his forehand is good, it’s very fast, it’s hard to control.

Success for Chiang Hung-Chieh and Chuang Chih-Yuan; in the same group as Chiang Hung-Chieh, China’s Xu Xin received a walk-over against the injured Yuya Oshima of Japan, who will take no further part in the tournament. In the group involving Chuang Chih-Yuan, Japan’s Jun Mizutani, the no.4 seed, beat Hong Kong debutant Ho Kwan Kit, the no.10 seed (11-6, 9-11, 11-8, 11-6).

Further Korean Reverse
Defeat for Korea, it was the same for Lee Sangsu but his reverse was no surprise; the no.7 seed, he was beaten China’s Zhang Jike, the no.2 seed (13-11, 11-7, 11-8).

In corresponding contest, Wong Chin Ting, the no.5 seed, also from Hong Kong, accounted for a somewhat not fully recovered from injury Sharath Kamal Achanta of India, the no.11 seed (11-8, 11-5, 12-10).

Zonal Group
Results as anticipated, it was the same in the zonal group.

Iran’s Nima Alamian, the no.14 seed, accounted for Abdulla Albalooshi of the United Arab Emirates, the no.16 seed (11-7, 11-4, 11-3); India’s Soumyajit Ghosh, the no.13 seed, proved too strong for Singapore’s Clarence Chew, the no.15 seed (11-9, 8-11, 11-9, 12-10).

Status Prevails
One upset as matters commenced in the Men’s Singles event; in the corresponding Women’s Singles event it was success as status advised.

China’s Liu Shiwen, the top seed, beat Hong Kong’s Tie Yana, the no.7 seed (14-12, 11-6, 11-9); Japan’s Miu Hirano, the no.6 seed, overcame Korea’s Li Zion the no.12 seed (11-5, 11-6, 11-5).

Likewise, China’s Li Xiaoxia, the no.2 seed, accounted for Singapore’s Yu Mengyu, the no.8 seed (11-4, 11-8, 9-11, 11-6), while the latter’s colleague, Feng Tianwei, the top seed and defending champion proved too strong for Chinese Taipei’s Chen Szu-Yu, the no.9 seed (8-11, 11-6, 11-7, 11-8).

Convincing Wins
Meanwhile in the groups involving the four zones; India’s Manika Batra, the no.13 seed, beat Majd Alblooshi of the United Arab Emirates, the no.16 seed (11-7, 11-4, 11-3).

Somewhat similarly, Thailand’s Suthasini Sawettabut, the no.11 seed, overcame Qatar’s Noora Al-Abri (11-3, 11-3, 11-1).

Watch Day 2 of the 2016 ITTF Nakheel Table Tennis Asian Cup LIVE from Dubai!

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