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Clear Mind and a High Degree of Kraft Steers Germany to Penultimate Stage
By: Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor

Theresa Kraft secured a medal in the Girls' Team event for Germany  Photo By: Rémy Gros

12/11/2012        Volkswagen 2012 World Junior Table Tennis Championships (Click here to access this section)

A cool head and a clear mind; those two qualities displayed by Theresa Kraft, saw Germany to a nail-biting three matches to two victory in their Girls’ Team quarter-final clash against the United States, on the morning of the third day of play, Tuesday 11th December 2012, at the Volkswagen World Junior Championships in Hyderabad.

In a tense situation, Theresa Kraft faced Prachi Jha with the score in the contest level at two matches apiece.

She duly kept everyone on the very edges of their seats. She won the first two games and then promptly lost the next two before emerging successful.

The 17 year old German won in five games (13-11, 11-8, 9-11, 9-11, 11-5).

Felt Nervous
“Certainly I felt nervous and I knew that if I could win, it would be a medal for Germany”, said Theresa Kraft. “I’m delighted, really pleased.”

There is no play-off match for third place; the losing semi-finalists both receive bronze medals.

Furthermore, the win reflected a strong mental approach; earlier in the contest she had been beaten by Lily Zhang (10-12, 11-1, 11-3, 11-3) but to her credit she had resigned the defeat to history and returned stronger.

Lily Zhang Again Unbeaten
Lily Zhang proved to be the player to cause the United States the most problems and as on the previous day, she remained unbeaten.

In addition to her win over Theresa Kraft, she accounted for Petrissa Solja in the fourth match of the duel in a high class five games encounter (11-9, 8-11, 11-9, 10-12, 11-5).

The win came after Petrissa Solja had beaten Prachi Jha (11-4, 11-6, 11-6) and Anja Schuh had defeated Isabel Chu (11-6, 13-11, 11-3).

Upset Seeding
Success for Germany was somewhat of a surprise; they were the seventh seeds as opposed to the United States who occupied the fifth seeded spot in the competition.

However, it was the only result at the quarter-final stage of the Girls’ Team event that saw a lower rated team emerge success.

Status Prevailed
In all other contests status prevailed with the brave run of Croatia, the only team from the first stage of proceedings to claim a top eight place, coming to an end.
They were beaten by Hong Kong, the sixth seeds, a three-one score-line being the end result.

The one win for Croatia came in the very first match of the duel with Lea Rakovac defeating Li Ching Wan in three straight games (16-14, 11-5, 11-8).

Hong Kong Takes Control
However, from that moment onwards, Hong Kong seized control.

Doo Hoi Kem beat Mateja Jeger (9-11, 11-5, 11-4, 11-2), Soo Wai Yam accounted for Ivana Tubikanec (12-14, 11-7, 11-5, 11-9), with Doo Hoi Kem returning to the table to overcome Lea Rakovac (11-3, 11-4, 7-11, 11-3) to secure victory and a medal for Hong Kong.

Emphatic Success
Meanwhile, the two remaining Girls’ Team quarter-final duels it was success for the top two seeds and it was emphatic success.

China, the top seeds, fielding the trio of Gu Yuting, Zhu Yuling and Gu Ruochen posted a three-nil win against the Korean trio comprising Jung Yumi, Lee Zion and Lee Dasom; whilst Japan, the second seeds, were equally unforgiving.

Represented by Ayuka Tanioka, Miyu Maeda and Miyu Kato; they overcame the Romanian outfit formed by Bernadett Balint, Bernadette Szocs and Irina Ciobanu by three matches to nil.

At the semi-final stage China plays Germany, Japan confronts Hong Kong.

Download video interviews with Theresa Kraft and Mateja Jeger



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