Jack Wang of the United States, the shock Junior Boys' Singles champion
Photo By: Thorsten Gohl
2014 ITTF North American Championships (Click here to access this section)
A complete outsider, occupying the no.11 seeded place in the draw, Jack Wang of the United States emerged as the surprise winner of the Junior Boys’ Singles title at the ITTF-North American Championships in the Toronto suburb of Mississauga on Monday 1st September.
At the final hurdle, he accounted for Canada’s Filip Ilijevski, the no.4 seed (11-6, 7-11, 11-9, 14-16, 6-11, 11-8, 11-9), having in the penultimate round beaten Jeremy Hazin, the no.6 seed and also from Canada (11-9, 11-8, 11-6, 5-11, 11-7).
In the counterpart semi-final, Filip Ilijevski had overcome colleague Alexander Moran, the no.9 seed (11-9, 11-9, 11-2, 5-11, 11-4).
“I am still overwhelmed, I never expected this”, said Jack Wang. “I played a very good United States Open this year and practised hard to come here to Toronto.”
Undoubtedly an unexpected winner in the Junior Boys’ Singles event; in the counterpart Junior Girls’ Singles competition matters progressed to a much greater extent as seeding predicted with the United States very much to the fore.
Top Seed Prevails
Crystal Wang, the top seed, accounted for the one surprise semi-finalist, Canada’s Amy Nicholls the no.10 seed (5-11, 11-8, 8-11, 11-6, 14-12, 11-2), a young lady in form.
At the quarter-final stage she had beaten Diane Jiang of the United States, the no.4 seed (11-8, 15-13, 11-8, 9-11, 4-11, 8-11, 11-8), to cause the one upset of note in the latter stages.
A place in the final booked, Crystal Wang faced colleague Amy Wang, the no.2 seed and duly justified her top billing by posting a six games win (11-8, 10-12, 11-8, 4-11, 11-3, 11-7). In the counterpart semi-final, Amy Wang had beaten Grace Yang, also from the United States and the no.4 seed, in five games (11-5, 11-7, 4-11, 11-9, 11-2).
Lily Yip Delighted
“It has been great to see two United States girls in the Under 18 final, both of them are still very young”, said Lily Yip, the United States coach. “Amy is 11 years old, Crystal is 12 years old; Amy is one of my players at the LYTTC and she worked hard to be ready for this competition, practising every day during the summer training camps.”
LYTTC is the Lily Yip Table Tennis Center in New Jersey in the mid-Atlantic region of the United States and earlier this year was the venue for a National Training Camp prior to a group of players, which included Crystal Wang, departing for a training stint in China under the guidance of Lily Yip.
Maryland Table Tennis Center
However, for the vast majority of the time, Crystal Wang is based at the Maryland Table Tennis Center where she is guided by Jack Huang (Huang Tong Sheng, former Chinese Team Member), Cheng Yinghua and other Maryland based coaches. Dedicated to the sport of table tennis, she started playing when only six years old and practices when even advised by her mentors to take a rest!
Derek Nie, who won Under 14 Boys’ Singles title at the recent United States Open is also a member of the Maryland Center.
Notably Lily Yip also guided Lily Zhang to the bronze medal position at the recent Nanjing 2014 Youth Olympic Games; the fact that both the Lily Yip Table Tennis Training Center and the Maryland Table Tennis Training Center could work in harmony is clearly of benefit to all concerned.
More Success for United States
Success for the United States in the Junior Girls’ Singles event; also they emerged successful in the Junior Girls’ Singles competition, a three-nil win was recorded against Canada.
Angela Guan beat Amy Nicholls (11-3, 11-4, 8-11, 11-6), Prachi Jha overcame Anqi Luo (11-9, 14-12, 7-11, 11-7) with Crystal Wang bringing matters to a conclusion. She accounted for Justina Yeung (11-6, 11-2, 12-10).
Crystal Wang en route to winning the Junior Girls’ Singles title
Photo by Thorsten Ghol