Hugo Calderano, the mainstay of Brazilian success
Photo By: Frantisek Zalewsky
2012 Czech Junior & Cadet Open - ITTF Premium Junior Circuit
Two wins from the stylish 15 year old Hugo Calderano plus one vital fighting success from 17 year old Eric Jouti, paved the way for a stunning Brazilian victory in the final of the Junior Boys’ Team event at the Czech Junior and Cadet Open in Hodonin on Saturday 18th February 2012.
Second seeds, Brazil upset the pecking by overcoming top seeds, Hong Kong, in a thrilling duel that kept the supporters of both teams on the very edges of the seats until the final point was secured. Nails were bitten to the quick.
A classic contest, it was one to remember.
The win underlines the fact that Latin America, Brazil in particular, is closing the gap on the two traditional continents of world table tennis excellence, Asia and Europe.
Place in Rio de Janeiro
Furthermore, did we see in Hodonin two players who well may appear in the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro in four years’ time?
Certainly for Hugo Calderano that would be special; his home city is Rio de Janeiro.
Hugo Hoyama, the leading name in Brazilian table tennis for almost two decades will be 47 years old in 2016, Thiago Monteiro is plagued by injury, Cazuo Matsumoto is the good and faithful servant with Gustavo Tsuboi the leading name at the moment.
It is an interesting dilemma for the Brazilian coaches.
In Hodonin, neither Brazil nor Hong Kong was troubled en route to the final; both teams recorded three-nil quarter and semi-final successes.
Represented throughout by Chiu Chung Hei, Hung Ka Tak and Daryl Hung, Hong Kong overcame the Slovakia ‘A’ outfit of Roman Rezetka, Marian Majak and Michal Pavolka, followed by success in opposition to the French trio of Alexandre Cassin, Paul Gauzy and Can Akkuzu.
No Stoppoing South Americans
Similarly, there was no stopping Brazil, with Vitor Ishiy supporting the efforts of Hugo Calderano and Eric Jouti.
A convincing win was posted against the Netherlands team formed by Koen Hageraats, Rjko Gommers and Laurens Tromer, followed by a similar impressive success in opposition to the Hungarian outfit of Adam Szudi, Marton Szita and Nandor Ecseki.
Adam Szudi beaten by Eric Jouti in Hungary’s duel with Brazil Photo by Frantisek Zalewsky
The effect was that the final proved classic; a contest that on this year’s ITTF Junior Circuit will be difficult to match.
In fact only one of the five matches did not go the full five games distance and that went to four games!
Early Advantage for Hong Kong
Chiu Chung Hei gave Hong Kong the early advantage by beating Eric Jouti (11-5, 9-11, 11-9, 6-11, 11-5), Brazil levelled when Hugo Calderano recovered from a two games to nil deficit to overcome the splendid Hung Ka Tak (9-11, 9-11, 11-4, 11-1, 11-7).
Matters then swung in favour of Hong Kong with Daryl Hung posting a straight games win over Vitor Ishiy (8-11, 14-12, 11-8, 11-8, 11-8).
Eric Jouti, the Brazilian hero in Hodonin Photo by Mauricio Val
End of Hong Kong Success
However, that was the end of Hong Kong’s success.
Hugo Calderano accounted for Chiu Chung Hei (2-11, 11-7, 12-10, 4-11, 11-8), leaving Eric Jouti the task of being his country’s hero; he duly obliged.
He recovered from a two games to one deficit to beat the luckless Hung Ka Tak (4-11, 13-11, 8-11, 11-6, 11-8).
End of Hong Kong Success
A tremendous contest a brave effort by Hong Kong, an outstanding performance by Brazil and a sign of the times; the South Americans are hot property, very hot indeed.
Chiu Chung Hei, his defeat against Hugo Calderano was crucial Photo by Frantisek Zalewsky