(by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor)
Tried and trusted trio, China supreme
The selection from start to finish and no change to the playing order, China won the Boys’ Team title at the 2017 ITTF World Junior Championships in Riva del Garda on the evening of Wednesday 29th November.
Once again, Niu Guankai was resigned to the bench; Xue Fei was sent out first followed by Wang Chuqin and Xu Haidong at the final hurdle against the Japanese trio comprising Yuto Kizuluri, Yuta Tanaka and Masaki Takami
A three-nil victory margin was the end result, the score-line that had been recorded in every previous encounter.
Xue Fei gave his team the ideal start by beating Yuto Kizukuri in four games (9-11, 11-3, 11-8, 11-9); attacking quickly, directing effort toward the backhand of his adversary, Yuto Kizukuri gained a degree of success but once Xue Fei found a rhythm to his play, he was in full flow.
“Playing the first match for my team, the first game was difficult but I was able to adjust myself well for the following three games.” Xue Fei
Similarly, Yuta Tanaka caused Wang Chuqin cause for thought but once the storm was weathered he seized control.
“We are very happy to win the title back, it’s like a mission completed for us. We came with the goal to win, especially for Xue Fei and myself, I don’t think I performed well in the final, but Xue Fei played well to give our team a good start in the match.” Wang Chuqin
Four games wins; focused Xu Haidong concluded matters, his top spin pen-hold grip style of play proving too much for Masaki Takami.
“I came into the match well prepared mentally and tactically, overall I’m happy with my performance in the final. I had expected different problems in the match. I placed myself in the position of a challenger and to fight.” Xu Haidong
It is the 13th time that China has won the Boys’ Team title at the World Junior Championships, the only time they have fallen short was last year in Cape Town and in 2005 in the Austrian city of Linz.
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