Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor
Both were intriguing finals, Andrea Landrieu and Nina Mittelham having been the respective Cadet Boys’ Singles and Cadet Girls’ Singles gold medallists at the 2011 European Youth Championships in Kazan.
Notably both had been involved in Under 21 finals earlier this year; Andrea Landrieu had won at the 2017 ITTF Challenge Seamaster Brazil Open overcoming Chile’s Juan Lamadrid in the final; in the Czech Republic on the Seamaster ITTF World Tour, Nina Mittelham had been beaten by Puerto Rico’s Adrian Diaz in the final.
In Czestochowa, Mizuki Oikawa secured the vital points to add to his list of Under 21 Men’s Singles titles; on the ITTF World Tour he won in 2012 in Belarus, two years later in Chile, before in 2016 succeeding in Australia and earlier this year in Bulgaria. Perhaps it was those wins that were a vital contributory factor to success.
Meanwhile, for Nina Mittelham, it was her first ever Under 21 Women’s Singles title on either the ITTF World Tour or ITTF Challenge Series; for her opponent in the final, Sun Jiayi, her first having recently on the ITTF World Junior Circuit won on home soil in Croatia and also in Slovenia.
At the 2017 ITTF Challenge Polish Open, it proved a step too far for Sun Jiayi but one suspects it will not be long, not long all, before the name of the 17 year old is inscribed on an ITTF Challenge Series or ITTF World Tour Under 21 Women’s Singles winner’s trophy.