WORLD JUNIORS 2013 SF – Chinese singles & Thais denied

China has been shut out of the singles finals and Thailand from the entire final round, which is now set at the SCG BWF World Junior Championships 2013 in Bangkok. […]

China has been shut out of the singles finals and Thailand from the entire final round, which is now set at the SCG BWF World Championships 2013 in Bangkok.

Story and photos: Gerald Jew, Badzine Correspondent live in Bangkok.  Additional photos: Badmintonphoto (archives)

With one exception, competing for the gold medals on Sunday will be representatives from China, Korea, Japan and Indonesia, the same four countries that comprised the top four teams from last week’s Suhandinata Cup team event.  The one exception will be Chinese Taipei, who will be competing against Korea in the boys’ singles.

China and Japan are assured of gold medals in the boys’ doubles and girls’ singles respectively, as two Chinese pairs will face off in the boys’ doubles and two Japanese compatriots will square off in the girls’ singles.  Korea and China will compete for the gold in the girls’ doubles, and Indonesia and China will be looking to take the gold home in the mixed doubles.

Diminutive Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo, who won both his doubles matches in last week’s team event final, came up big again as he and partner Masita Mahmudin upset the 2nd seeded Chinese pair of Liu Yuchen and Huang Dongping (pictured).  After being destroyed 6-21 in the opening game, the Indonesian pair came back strong to take the final two games and the match.

Sukamuljo and Mahmudin will face the 3/4 seeds, China’s Wang Kaixiang and Chen Qingchen, who have reached two Grand Prix Gold semi-finals this year.  They beat the top-seeded Korean team of Choi Sol Kyu and Chae Yoo Jung in a quick 29-minute 21-13, 21-11 match.  Chen will also compete for a gold medal in the girls’ doubles on Sunday.

China, who has failed to win gold in the boys’ singles since 2009, and since 2007 in the girls’ singles, saw their drought continue as their two remaining contenders in those disciplines both lost on Saturday.  Chinese Taipei’s Wang Tzu Wei, who reached the semi-final of his home Grand Prix Gold in September, topped unseeded Zhao Jun Peng of China for the right to face Heo Kwang Hee (pictured below) of Korea.

Heo beat Indonesia’s Ihsan Maulana Mustofa in a tough, three-game match where he finally prevailed 21-16 in the 3rd.  Heo will be looking to avenge his defeat at this year’s Asian Junior Championships team event to Wang, where he lost 20-22 in the 3rd game.

Japan has set up a second straight internecine final in girls’ singles, something world women’s singles power China has not done since 2000.  China’s He Bing Jiao lost in straight games to Japan’s top-seeded Aya Ohori (pictured top) in one of the girls’ semi-final matches and will test teammate Akane Yamaguchi (pictured below) on Sunday.  Yamaguchi, this year’s Japan Open Superseries champion, disappointed the hometown fans with her defeat of Thailand’s 2nd-seeded Busanan Ongbamrungphan 21-11, 21-19.

Thailand singles coach Udom Luangpetcharaporn was disappointed with Ongbamrungphan’s play, “The Japanese girl played well – she was very fast and consistent – but Busanan was nervous and didn’t play her best.  She played too defensively.

“When Yamaguchi hit lifts, Busanan would play a defensive shot back instead of being aggressive.  I tried to get her to be more aggressive and to put more pressure on her opponent, but she just didn’t do it.

“When she’s playing someone that is as consistent as the Japanese girl was today, her best chance to win is to be more aggressive.  She’s young and she will learn.”

While Japan is already assured of continuing their streak in singles, Korea will attempt to extend their run in the girls’ doubles to 3 straight titles. Sunday’s final will pit China’s 2nd seeded pair of Chen Qingchen and He Jiaxin against the 5/8 seeds, Chae Yoo Jung and Kim Ji Won of Korea.  Chae and Kim defeated the top-seeded pair, China’s Huang Dongping and Jia Yi Fan.

After Chen was able to change her stars against Chae Yoo Jung in the mixed semi-final, reversing the result of their counterpart match in the Asian Juniors, Chae will attempt to do the same in the final, as it was their Sunday opponents who eliminated them in the semis in Kota Kinabalu this past summer.

The road to the final for Chen Qingchen and He Jiaxin came at the expense of the home team’s final hope, as the Chinese beat Thailand’s Narissapat Lam and Puttita Supajirakul (pictured) in a thirty-five minute, two game match.

Lam said after the match, “We just made too many errors and played too fast.  We knew that we had to slow the game down.  By playing too fast, we played right into their hands.  We’re both 17 and we will be back next year, and we will do better.”

Two Chinese teams will play for the right to carry the boys’ doubles gold medals back to China.  The top-seeded team of Li Junhui and Liu Yuchen beat Chinese Taipei’s 5/8 seeds Tien Tzu Chieh and Wang Chi Lin, 21-10, 21-17.  Huang Kaixiang, who will also compete in Sunday’s mixed doubles final, and partner Zheng Si Wei sent home Korea’s unseeded Choi Jong Woo and Seo Seung Jae.

Finals line-up
XD: Huang Kaixiang / Chen Qingchen (CHN) [3/4] vs. Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo / Masita Mahmudin (INA) [9/16]
WS: Aya Ohori (JPN) [1] vs. Akane Yamaguchi (JPN) [3/4]
MS: Heo Kwang Hee (KOR) [5/8] vs. Wang Tzu Wei (TPE) [9/16]
WD: Chen Qingchen / He Jiaxin (CHN) [2] vs. Chae Yoo Jung / Kim Ji Won (KOR) [5/8]
MD: Li Junhui / Liu Yuchen (CHN) [1] vs. Huang Kaixiang / Zheng Siwei (CHN) [5/8]

For complete semi-final results, click here


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