by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor
However, for the 17 year old there were exacting times.
At both the semi-final stage and in the final, Selena Selvakumar was extended the full seven games distance; the players to cause the problems being the host nation’s twin sisters Mariam and Marwa Alhodaby.
In the penultimate round, Mariam Alholdaby was the player to pose the questions (11-9, 11-8, 10-12, 8-11, 11-8, 5-11, 11-5); in the final it was Marwa Alhodaby (11-5, 14-12, 8-11, 6-11, 11-3, 6-11, 11-4). Earlier, in the counterpart semi-final, Marwa Alhodaby had beaten Sarah Abousetta, likewise from Egypt (11-7, 11-9, 11-8, 3-11, 3-11, 11-9).
Notably, the top four seeds in the Junior Girls’ Singles event all concluded matters with places on the podium; Selena Selvakumar commenced play as the top seed, Marwa Alhodaby and Mariam Alhodaby were the respective second and third seeds. Sarah Abousetta was the fourth in the order of merit.
It was the same scenario in the Junior Girls’ Doubles competition; the only surprise being the defeat of Mariam Alhodaby and Marwa Alhodaby, the no.2 seeds; at the semi-final stage. They lost to colleague Farida Badawy who partnered Malamatenia Papadimitriou of Greece and occupied the no.4 seeded spot. Defeat by the minimal two point margin in the deciding fifth game was the outcome (11-8, 14. 9-11, 8-11, 11-9).
A semi-final success for Farida Badawy and Malamatenia Papadimitriou but when facing Selena Selvakumar and Nigeria’s Esther Orabimese, the top seeds, in the final, it was defeat; they were beaten in five games (11-8, 14-12, 9-11, 8-11, 11-8).
Tense moments, one round earlier for Selena Selvakumar and Esther Orabimese, it had been just the same; they had eventually emerged successful against the Sarah Abousetta and Tunisia’s Abir Haj Salah, the no.3 seeds (11-7, 4-11, 13-11, 9-11, 12-10).
Success for Selena Selvakumar, most certainly hard earned, on the concluding day of play she had been involved in four matches, all four had gone the full distance; most significantly, she had won all four.