New Delhi: India's Payas Jain stormed into the cadet boys final of the 25th Asian Junior Table Tennis Championships beating South Korean Lin Yunoh 4-3 here on Friday to assure himself of at least a silver medal. The seventh seeded Indian won 15-13, 11-9, 9-11, 3-11, 11-9, 11-6. Besides the medal, Payas also earned a place in the Asian squad that will compete in the World Cadet Challenge, to be held at Wladyslawowo, Poland, this October.
This will be the second medal for the Indians at the championships after the junior boys had clinched a silver medal. Jain will take on top-seed and world No. 1 Yuanyu Chen in the final on Saturday. The semifinal win was built on Jain's soaring confidence, particularly in the first two games. Nevertheless, the strong Korean, who had accounted for No. 2 seed Japanese, Sora Matsushima, in the round of 16 earlier in the day, put up a good fight to level the score.
But Jain regrouped himself in the crucial fifth and attacking well, went 3-2 up and from there he never let the guard down as he continued in his fast-paced game to subdue the Korean and wrap up the last one rather easily. An error-prone and shaky Korean was forced into playing a rank bad seventh game allowing the top-ranked Indian to hit winners.
Earlier in the pre-quarters, Jain had accounted for another South Korean and world No. 27 Gil Minseok (3-2) after losing the first two games. In the quarterfinals, he upset third-seeded Yong Izaac Quek of Singapore 9-11, 11-6, 8-11, 11-6, 14-12.