Youth Olympic Games 2014 – Day 2: Strong Show by Lee Chia Hsin

Youth Olympic Games 2014 – Day 2: Strong Show by Lee Chia Hsin

Chinese Taipei’s Lee Chia Hsin followed up her upset in Women’s Singles yesterday with yet another strong performance today.

Lee, who beat China’s Qin Jinjing, one of the favourites, had another impressive day as she won both her matches. In singles, she overcame Croatia’s Maja Pavlinic, while in Mixed Doubles, she and Kanta Tsuneyama (Japan) were too strong for Krzystof Jakowczuk (Poland) and Clara Azurmendi (Spain).

Pavlinic (below) matched her opponent in the early part of their match and the Chinese Taipei player might have anticipated a long-drawn affair. However, she grew more dominant as the match progressed and wrapped it quickly, 21-17 21-13. She returned to court later with Kanta Tsuneyama and the pair had too many weapons for Jakowczuk and Azurmendi during a 21-10 21-10 rout.

Unlike the opening day, which saw a couple of upsets, there were no surprises today. Qin Jinjing beat Ukraine’s Vladyslava Lesnaya but unless Lee trips in her final group match against Lesnaya in Group C, Qin will have to bid goodbye to her chances of challenging for the title.

Qin’s compatriot He Bing Jiao might have had some momentary self-doubt after losing her opening game against Austria’s Janine Lais in Group H. The World Junior Championships runner-up recovered quickly and allowed her opponent only 14 more points in the next two games (17-21 21-11 21-3).

Two other contenders, Japan’s Akane Yamaguchi and Thailand’s Busanan Ongbumrungpan (above), powered past their opponents without much fuss. Yamaguchi was a 21-13 21-6 winner over Sri Lanka’s Thilini Pramodika Hendahewa, who had upset Denmark’s Mia Blichfeldt yesterday. Ongbumrungpan dealt similar treatment to France’s Lole Courtois: 21-8 21-7.

In Men’s Singles, Vietnam’s Pham Cao Cuong chalked his second straight win in Group D. Pham was taken the distance in the first game by Serbia’s Dragoslav Petrovic, but the second was a tamer affair with the Vietnamese emerging triumphant 24-22 21-11. Title favourite Lin Gui Pu (China) had it tougher than he might have expected against Brazil’s Ygor Coelho De Oliviera (21-19 21-17), while 5/8 seed Max Weisskirchen (Germany) held off France’s Tanguy Citron 12-21 21-16 21-19. Korea’s Seo Seung Jae was no match for top seed Shi Yuqi (China): 21-15 21-11. Chinese Taipei’s Lu Chia Hung (below) was a comfortable winner over Mexico’s Luis Ramon Garrido, 21-8 21-12.

Among the interesting singles matches was the one between Daniel Guda (Australia) and Wolfgang Gnedt (Austria) in Group G. Guda, who plays an unhurried style, appeared to have the edge over his opponent but at 9-4 in the opening game he suddenly pulled up with pain in his right ankle. Luckily for him, the problem did not flare up again and he went a game ahead. Gnedt fought back in the second game for a tight win; the third game again looked set to go down the wire, but in the closing stages Guda pulled away to register a 21-14 20-22 21-17 result.

“I should have closed it out in straight games,” said Guda.

Later in the day, he teamed up with Indonesia’s Ruselli Hartawan and picked up his second win of the day, 21-12 21-19 over Enrique Penalver (Spain)/Chlorie Cadeau (Seychelles).

“Ruselli speaks a bit of English and I speak a bit of her language so we don’t have a problem communicating,” said Guda. “I’d spent three weeks in Indonesia training with a club in 2010. Later on I’d like to train in Asia, maybe Indonesia or Malaysia.”

A couple of the Mixed Doubles matches were close affairs. Lee Cheuk Yiu (Hong Kong)/Magda Konieczna (Poland) edged past Dipesh Dhami (Nepal)/Busanan Ongbumrungpan (Thailand) 22-20 18-21 23-21 in Group E, while in Group D, Mexico’s Luis Ramon Garrido and Estonia’s Kristin Kuuba (featured image) saved a match point before beating Pham Cao Cuong (Vietnam)/Aliye Demirbag (Turkey) 14-21 21-12 22-20.

Interestingly, one of the Mixed Doubles matches saw compatriots Sachin Premashan Dias and Thilini Hendahewa on opposite sides of the net. Dias and China’s He Bing Jiao got the better of Bernard Ong (Singapore) and Hendahewa 21-14 21-19.