12 Nov 2017

Against the odds New Zealand came away holding tickets to Buenos Aires.

by Wade Townsend

Hui Ling Vong defeated her teammate Jiayi Zhou in a seven game marathon to secure her ticket to the 2018 Buenos Aires Youth Olympic Games.

Vong’s strength and power came out on top over the acrobatic defensive skills of Zhou. The pair used every inch of the court in their clash.

It was the first time that Vong looked in trouble all week. But she passed the test with flying colours. Her opponent didn’t make it easy for her.

Zhou is a hustler. Every ball is chased down, with no simple mistakes. The grit and determination you want to see in a defender. It’s no wonder that Zhou bested Vong in their encounter earlier in the year as the fought for a place in New Zealand’s team for this event.

The match went down to the wire and was packed full of crazy rallies.

INSANE rallies going down in the Girls’ Singles final at the @youtholympics Qualification Event! ?

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“It was stressful. I kept telling myself I can win and that I will win this. That was why motivation.” Hui Ling Vong

After the win Vong, in tears, embraced her mother. It was a wild ride but she emerged undefeated and with a ticket to Buenos Aires.

“It’s been my dream since day one.” Hui Ling Vong

Meanwhile in the Boys’ Singles it was Nathan Xu that maintained his undefeated record in Bendigo.

In the Boys’ Singles final he defeated teammate Yanglun Zhao 4-1.

Xu has proved to have the safest pair of hands in the stadium, and relied on his impenetrable backhand and powerful forehand to take the win.

“The hall was really hot so it was both a physical and mental battle out there on the court today.” Nathan Xu

Against the odds it was two New Zealanders through, and they were all smiles.

Nathan Xu and Hui Ling Vong have won a ticket to the @youtholympics in Buenos Aires! ??? #Road2BuenosAires

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Buenos Aires 2018 Youth Olympic Games

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Day 9 - Buenos Aires 2018 Youth Olympic Games