Kunlavut Vitidsarn wins third consecutive World Junior title

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Kunlavut Vitidsarn creates history by winning his third consecutive world junior boys’ singles title.
Kunlavut Vitidsarn creates history by winning his third consecutive world junior boys’ singles title.

Kazan: Thailand’s BWF Junior World No. 1 Kunlavut Vitidsarn who repeated his own feat in the 2017, and 2018 World Junior Championships where he claimed his first two World Junior Championships title, becoming the first boys’ singles player to win three World Junior title on Sunday as he defeated Christo Popov of France in the 2019 final in Kazan.

Seeing how the No. 10 seed Popov outlasted two Chinese players en-route to the final, the audience was expecting Popov would give Vitidsarn a strong fight for the title. However, Vitidsarn managed to dictate the pace on the court, pushing Popov to four corners of the court while seeking opportunity to attack the Frenchman, winning the one-sided final 21-8, 21-11 in 36 minutes.

“I had some good momentum and some not so good momentum during the match, fortunately I was able to control it and won the match,” said Vitidsarn.

“This is my last year as the junior, and I was facing a lot of pressure. I’m very honored to match Ratchanok’s World Junior Championships record,” added Vitidsarn.

After the victory, Vitidsarn tied the record two other players who had won three consecutive World Junior title, including Ratchanok Intanon of Thailand and Chen Qingchen of China. Intanon won the girls’ singles title from 2009 to 2011, while Chen Qingchen won the mixed doubles title with Huang Kaixiang from 2013 to 2014 and won the 2015 mixed doubles title with Zheng Siwei. In addition to mixed doubles, Chen also won the 2014 and 2015 girls’ doubles world junior title with Jia Yifan.

In the girls’ singles final, Japan’s No. 7 seed Riko Gunji overcame second seed Zhou Meng of China 21-13, 12-21, 21-14 to win the title.

“I didn’t attack much in the second set that’s why I lost to her. But when I started attack again in the last game, I was able to dominate Zhou,” said the 17-year-old Gunji.

Lin Fang Ling of China became the biggest winner on Sunday as she and Feng Yan Zhe battled past Leo Rolly Carnando/Indah Cahya Sari Jamil of Indonesia 21-17, 21-17 to win the mixed doubles title, while partnering Zhou Xin Ru to claim the girls’ doubles title for China by taking down Febriana Dwipuji Kusuma/Amalia Cahaya Pratiwi of Indonesia 22-20, 11-21, 21-14.

The boys’ doubles final between No. 1 seed and defending champions Di Zi Jian/Wang Chang of China and No. 2 seeds Leo Rolly Carnando/Daniel Marthin of Indonesia was not as intense as we would hope for as the Indonesian pair found a way to keep their attacks towards Wang Chang, forcing Wang to commit a lot of unforced errors to ultimately lifting the only individual title for Indonesia by beating Di/Wang 21-19, 21-18.

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