Ariel Hsing retained her title
Photo By: David Lui
2012 ITTF North American Cup (Click here to access this section)
Teenagers Pierre-Luc Theriault and Ariel Hsing won the respective Men’s and Women’s Singles titles at the ITTF-North American Cup in Mississauga on Sunday 3rd June 2012 and heralded a new and exciting era for table tennis in the continent.
Furthermore, neither were shock winners.
Both names were pundits' lips before matters commenced.
Ariel Hsing started proceedings as the top seed; whilst Pierre-Luc Theriault was the no.3 seed; the win by the latter was somewhat of a surprise but it was not of seismic proportions.
One year earlier the victory recorded by Ariel Hsing against Canada’s Zhang Mo was a shock; one year later it was as statistics predicted but it was a hard fought final win for the American against the no.2 seed.
The champion elect won in seven games (13-11, 12-10, 5-11, 11-9, 4-11, 4-11, 12-10) and thus retained her title.
Equally, at the semi-final stage both players had been in involved in hard fought duels.
Ariel Hsing overcame compatriot Erica Wu (8-11, 11-5, 8-11, 11-2, 11-8, 11-8), whilst at the same stage Zhang Mo defeated Judy Hugh, also from the United States (11-8, 9-11, 11-9, 12-10, 2-11, 11-7).
Rose to Occasion
Meanwhile, in the Men’s Singles event Pierre-Luc Theriault very much rose to the occasion.
He overpowered Timothy Wang of the United States, the top seed in the semi-finals (12-10, 11-7, 11-1, 11-7), before succeeding in a much more closely fought final duel against compatriot and second André Ho (8-11, 11-9, 9-11, 11-7, 11-8, 11-7).
At the semi-final stage André Ho had beaten Adam Hugh of the United States (7-11, 11-4, 9-11, 7-11, 13-11, 13-11, 11-8).
The wins recorded by 18 year old Pierre-Luc Theriault and 16 year old Ariel Hsing very much endorse the potential shown in junior events.
Pierre-Luc Theriault won the Junior Boys’ Singles title at the North American Youth Championships in 2010 and 2011; whilst Ariel Hsing captured the Cadet Girls’ Singles title in four consecutive years from 2007 to 2010 in addition to securing the Junior Girls’ Singles crown in 2008 and 2009.
Reflects Healthy Situation
However, she is not the reigning North American Junior Girls’ Singles champion; one year ago she was beaten in the final in Mississauga by colleague Lily Zhang.
Such is the current rising strength of table tennis in North America.