Mixed fortunes for Thailand in World Junior meet in Bilbao
The top two seeds in the men's singles failed to make the final after suffering shock defeats to lower ranked in the semi-finals in the BWF World Junior Championships in Bilbao on Saturday.
Thailand's No 1 seed Kantaphon Wangcharoen was the first to go when he played a below par game against China's No 5 seed Sun Feixiang in his 9-21, 13-21 defeat in 39 minutes.
With that went Thailand's hopes of a double after Pornpawee Chochuwong, the No 3 seed, reached the women's singles final following a hard fought 27-25, 21-19 win over Japan's unseeded giant killer Natsuki Oie who had knocked out No 1 seed and defending champion Goh Jin Wei of Malaysia and and ninth seed Gao Fangjie of China enroute to the semi-finals..
Nothing went right for Kantaphon - who looked lost in his game which was strewn by errors - unable to cope with the speed and power of Feixiang who believes the crown is his for taking in Bilbao.
No 2 seed Lee Zii Jia of Malaysia was unconsolable after his straight loss to Indonesia's No 14 seed Chico Aura Dwi Wardoyo - the man he had beaten twice this year.
Zii Jia had beaten the Indonesian in this year's Asian Junior Championships (Under-19) in Bangkok in July. The Malaysian had also beaten Chico 21-15, 21-11 in the mixed team event in Bilbao with Malaysian winning 3-1 to reach the last eight.
A delighted Chico said after his win 40 minutes that he and his coaches analysed Zii Jia's game and it paid off.
"I am so happy to have reached the final and hopefully I can win the gold for my country," said Chico.
Pornpawee, ranked No 47 in the world, it was another tough hurdle against the 18-year-old Oie. The Japanese lass fought a three-set battle against Pornpawee in the Asian Junior Championship in July before the Thai won 21-13, 19-21, 21-12.
In the final Pornpawee will face China's No 2 seed Chen Yufei who polished off Korea's 21-12. 21-17 with dominating performance in a 37-minute encounter.
China will also features in all the other finals.
In the men's doubles No 1 seeds Han Chengkai-Zhou Haodong will face Korean opposition from Lee Hong-sub-Lim Su-min. The unseeded Koreans beat No 13 seeds Fan Qiuyue-Ren Xiangyu in three sets 21-15, 17-21, 22-20 while the Chinese pair ripped past Thailand's Pakin Kuna-Anuvit-Natthapat Trinkajee 21-15, 21-12 in only 23 minutes.
The women's doubles final will be a China-Japan affair. China's top seeds Du Yue-Xu Ya were too strong for Korea's Kim Ga-eun-Kim Hyang-im in their 21-15, 21-8 win while No 2 seeds Sayaka Hobara-Nami Matsuyama of Japan blazed to a 21-14, 21-13 win over Indonesia's Yulfira Barkah-Jauza Fadhila Sugiarto.
Sun Feixiang (Chn) beat Kantaphon Wangcharoen (Tha) 21-9, 21-13
Chico Aura Dwi Wardoyo (Ina) beat Lee Zii Jia (Mas) 21-19, 21-18
Han Chengkai-Zhou Haodong (Chn) beat Pakin Kuna-Anuvit-Natthapat Trinkajee (Tha) 21-15, 21-12
Lee Hong-sub-Lim Su-min (Kor) beat Fan Qiuyue-Ren Xiangyu (Chn) 21-15, 17-21, 22-20
Chen Yufei (Chn) beat Kim Ga Eun (Kor) 21-12, 21-17
Pornpawee Chochuwong (Tha) beat Natsuki Oie (Jpn) 27-25, 21-19
Da Yue-Xu Ya (Chn) beat Kim Ga-eun-Kim Hyang-im (Kor) 21-15 21-8
Sayaka Hobara-Nami Matsuyama (Jpn) beat Yulfira Barkah-Jauza Fadhila Sugiarto (Ina) 21-14, 21-13
He Jiting-Du Yue (Chn) beat Chen Tang Jie-Toh Ee Wei (Mas) 21-14, 21-11
Zhou Haodong-Hu Yuxiang (Chn) beat Park Kyung-hoon-Kim Hye-jeong (Kor) 21-17, 21-18