by Wade Townsend
Once again the no.1 seed couldn’t see off their opposition in the group stage of the ITTF-Oceania Youth Olympic Games Qualification Tournament in Bendigo.
Mateo Dvorani saw off teammate and top seed Benjamin Gould in six games to finish off Day 1 in Bendigo undefeated.
Lightning reflexes saw him over the line.
“It felt good, especially knowing he’s the number one seed in the event. I’m just glad that despite the very slow start, I was able to find some form going in to the final day.” Mateo Dvorani
Despite the loss to Dvorani, Gould found solace in his final match of the day.
Gould went in to the match against Yanglun Zhao nervous.. Despite being the top ranked player here in Bendigo, Gould has never been able to win against the Kiwi. Until today.
It didn’t come easy but Gould saw off the Zhao in six hard fought games.
Like Dvorani, New Zealand’s Nathan Xu is also yet to lose match. The two will face off early this morning.
In the Girls’ Singles Hui Ling Vong is yet to be pushed and is an an early front runner for Buenos Aires. The New Zealander is undefeated so far and has cemented her place in the playoffs.
Meanwhile, Grace Yee couldn’t keep the momentum going after her first round win against Matilda Alexandersson, losing her next three matches.
But it’s anyone’s guess who the four players will be to move through to the knockout phase in the Girls’ Singles will be. Only Vong is safe, while the top three seeds are still fighting for a place in the top four.
Once in the knockout all of today’s wins and losses will be forgotten as the players enter a do or die phase to secure their ticket to the 2018 Youth Olympic Games.