01 Dec 2016

Somewhat surprise winners earlier in the day when they had recorded wins over higher seeded opponents in the respective guise of Korea Republic and Romania; Hong Kong and France maintained their form to secure first places in their second stage groups in the Girls’ Team event at the Sun International 2016 World Junior Championships in Cape Town, South Africa.

On the evening of Thursday 1st December, Hong Kong, the no.6 seeds, beat Spain, the no.12 seeds, by three matches to nil; France, the no.5 seeds, recorded a three-one success in opposition to Serbia, the no.11 seeds.

by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor

Star of the show in the victory over Romania, the no.4 seeds, had been Marie Migot; she had beaten both Andreea Dragoman (11-8, 11-7, 11-13, 11-7) and Adina Diaconu (11-9, 11-9, 10-12, 9-11, 11-7) in a three-one success.

Against Serbia, she repeated the feat; she accounted for both Dragana Vignjevic (11-8, 16-14, 14-12) and Izabela Lupulesku (11-7, 11-4, 11-4) to guide France to victory.

The one further French success was recorded by Audrey Zarif in the opening match of the contest; she overcame Izabela Lupulesku by the very narrowest of margins; the one win for Serbia accrued courtesy of Tijana Jokic. In the third match of the engagement, she overcame Oceane Guisnel in a full distance duel (8-11, 11-4, 11-7, 13-15, 11-7).

“I don’t really know when went wrong for us to lose our two matches; being my first World Championships, I am now focusing on the singles and doubles”, Izabela Lupulesku (Serbia)

Success for Audrey Zarif set France on the road to victory; for Hong Kong in opposition to Spain, it was Minnie Soo Wai Yam who provided the impetus for a three-nil win. She accounted for Ana Garcia (11-5, 11-7, 12-10), before Mak Tze Wing narrowly beat Zhang Xuan (11-3, 8-11, 11-7, 8-11, 15-13) and Liu Qi concluded matters by defeating Marina Niguez (11-9, 12-10, 11-7).

“We lost to Korea Republic three-two at the quarter-final stage last year, we were unlucky not to win a medal; this year we want to reach the semi-finals, so we have a place on the podium”, Mak Tze Wing (Hong Kong)

Earlier in the day Korea Republic had beaten Spain by three matches to nil; whilst Romania had recorded a three-one win against Serbia. Thus Hong Kong and Korea Republic, alongside France and Romania progressed to the quarter-finals.

Teams finishing in first and second places in each of the four groups advanced to the round of the last eight.

Meanwhile, earlier in the day Japan and China had reserved their places in the last eight; the question as the second day of play concluded was as to who would join them in the quest for medals. The answer came in the form of Chinese Taipei and Russia.

Chinese Taipei, the no.8 seeds, having suffered a three-nil defeat at the hands of Japan, the top seeds, overcame the United States, the no.9 seeds. Russia, the no.7 seeds, who had likewise experienced a three-nil reverse when losing to China, the no.2 seeds, enjoyed a total reversal of fortunes; they accounted for Brazil.

Chen Ying-Chen proved the backbone of the Chinese Taipei success against the United States; she beat both Amy Wang (11-9, 11-8, 11-9) and Crystal Wang (11-8, 11-8, 11-2). The one further success for the victors was recorded by Tsai Yu-Chin, in the third match of the fixture, she beat Grace Yang (11-4, 11-6, 13-11); the one success for the United States was recorded by Crystal Wang, in the opening match of the engagement, she overcame Wu Yi-Hua (11-8, 9-11, 11-8, 14-16, 11-8).

“We worked hard for this victory; we are so excited making it to the quarter-final after losing our first group match to Japan. We will continue aiming for victory, our target is to win the title”, Tsai Yu-Chin (Chinese Taipei)

An impressive margin of victory for Chinese Taipei; it was even more impressive for Russia in opposition to Brazil a three-nil victory margin was the outcome.

Maria Malanina beat Alexia Nakashima (11-8, 8-11, 11-3, 11-4), Maria Tailakova overcame Bruna Takahashi (11-2, 11-2, 11-6), before Valeria Shcherbatykh ended matters by defeating Livia Lima (15-13, 11-5, 11-4).

At the quarter-final stage, Japan meets Romania, Russia opposes Hong Kong; in the opposite half of the draw, France confronts Korea, China plays Chinese Taipei.

The quarter and semi-final fixtures will be played on Friday 2nd December, the final on Saturday 3rd December.

World Junior Championships Minnie Soo Wai Yam Mak Tze Wing Audrey Zarif Izabela Lupulesku Marie Migot Liu Qi Oceane Guisnel

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