by Simon Daish
Prior to the 2016 World Junior Championships in Cape Town, South Africa the only gold medal for Europe had come in 2005 when Germany’s Patrick Baum won the Boys’ Singles event in Linz, Austria. But now with Adina Diaconu and Andreea Dragoman claiming the Girls’ Doubles crown the continent has another special moment to celebrate with the No.4 seeds defying the odds to beat Japan’s Hina Hayata and Miyu Kato.
Romania’s previous best effort in the Girls’ Doubles category was a third place finish, but that statistic was bettered by Adina Diaconu and Andreea Dragoman who went on to take the title and right from the start of the 2016 final the Romanian duo were performing at peak condition quickly moving into a 3-0 lead following an astonishing start to the tie.
Hina Hayata and Miyu Kato looked stunned and were on the verge of a shock defeat; needing some hope to cling on to, the Japanese partnership of Hayata and Kato attempted to mount a comeback and with games four and five going in their favour the battle for the title looked to be back on.
Yet, it was not to be for the second seeded pair as Diaconu and Dragoman were victorious in the sixth game, completing a wonderful 4-2 triumph for the Romanians (11-7, 11-8, 11-6, 5-11, 9-11, 11-9).
“It was amazing and unbelievable that we could be world champions in the Doubles. It’s like a dream to me. I think the semi-finals loss in the Singles really motivated me a lot for the final of the Doubles. My partner and I have been playing together for more than a year and we understand each other very well on table. I think we played an amazing match today and I am so so excited to win a world title this year” – Adina Diaconu (Romania) speaking after the Girls’ Doubles final.
So the Girls’ Doubles competition at the 2016 World Junior Championships has finally been decided with Adina Diaconu and Andreea Dragoman taking the top prize on offer, in what has been a historic event.