by Wade Townsend
North America has kept their momentum going from the group stage as they defeated Latin America 3-1 in the semi final of the Girls’ Team Event this morning at the 2017 World Cadet Challenge in Suva.
It was a rougher ride compared to yesterday’s 4-1 victory over Team Europe.
Rachel Sung squandered a 2-0 lead in the opening match. Valentina Rios clawed back in to the game and gave Latin America the opening match and put the No.3 seed under pressure.
From there on the performance looked a little wobbly, despite taking the match 3-1. They will need to get out the blocks better in the final if they are going to take gold.
Five game heartbreak
On the opposite side of the stadium Asia moved in to the final of the Girls’ Team Event, but their clean sheet was sullied, as they defeated Team Europe 3-1.
The only defeat came as Jamila Laurenti was able notch up a win against Yumeno Soma’s defensive machinations. By twiddling with anti-spin rubber, the Italian completely befuddled her Japanese opponent.
But Team Asia’s win could have easily been reversed.
Elena Zaharia took China’s Huang Yingqi all the way to five games, but wasn’t able to close out the match. Then in the third match Elizabet Araamian lost 11-9 in the fifth to Ryu Hanna. Team Europe will be left thinking what could have been.
Boys keep it by the book
In the Boys’ Team Event Europe and Asia both progressed to the final with 3-0 wins over North America and Latin America respectively. They were pressed by their opponents but the table tennis superpowers kept their status.
Team Asia will enter the finals favourite. The players in the team are undefeated, and only two games have been dropped in four teams matches. Europe is going to have to bring something special to the final if they want to take gold.