15 Oct 2018

Surprise outcomes in the group phase of proceedings, upsets in the opening round but at the quarter-final stage of the Mixed Team event at the Buenos Aires 2018 Youth Olympic Games on the evening of Sunday 14th October status prevailed.

The top four seeds all emerged successful; notably each by two matches to nil.

by Ian Marshall, Editor

However, for Sweden’s Truls Moregard in partnership with Serbia’s Sabina Surjan, the no.3 seeds, there were exacting moments, when facing the combination of Moldova’s Vladislav Ursu and Slovenia’s Aleksandra Vovk, the no.24 seeds.

After Sabina Surjan had beaten Aleksandra Vovk (11-4, 11-5, 9-11, 11-8), Truls Moregard lost the opening two games against Vladislav Ursu before recovering (9-11, 8-11, 11-5, 11-2, 11-5) to reserve a semi-final place.

“It was a very tough match, I played very well, I’m so happy!” Sabina Surjan

“It feels really good to make the top four; we are both positive and good in shape, so it will be a fun and tough in the semi-final. We will fight and give our best tomorrow.” Truls Moregard

Otherwise there were no such alarm bells with Su Pei-Ling very much the player to catch the eye. Disappointed in the Women’s Singles event having departed proceedings in the group phase, she beat bronze medallist Andreea Dragoman (5-11, 11-5, 11-8, 11-6) to set Chinese Taipei, the no.2 seeds, en route to victory against Romania, the no.9 seeds. Impressively, Lin Yun-Ju concluded proceedings by overcoming Cristian Pletea (11-9, 10-12, 11-7, 11-5).

“It was a tough match even though I won three-one. This was my first time playing against Pletea, he’s really strong in rallies but overall I think I still had the upper hand against him.” Lin Yun-Ju

Success for Chinese Taipei, it was the same for Japan’s Tomokazu Harimoto and Miu Hirano, the top seeds, in opposition to Azerbaijan’s Yu Khinhang and Ning Jing, the no.22 seeds. In an imposing manner Miu Hirano prevailed against Ning Jing (14-12, 11-8, 11-9), before Tomokazu Harimoto overcame Yu Khinhang (11-9, 14-16, 11-7, 11-7).

“I took the silver medal in the Men’s Singles event, so now I want to win the gold! I want to improve the aspects where I am still weak and give everything in the next match.” Tomokazu Harimoto

Impressive performances but arguably the most impressive of all was that executed by China’s Wang Chuqin and Sun Yingsha, the no.4 seed; not a single game was surrendered, they accounted for Russia’s Vladimir Sidorenko and Mariia Tailakova, the no.21 seeds.

Earlier in the first round of the Men’s Singles event, Vladimir Sidorenko had caused Wang Chuqin problems. He had established a two games to nil lead before eventually suffering a six games defeat (5-11, 10-12, 11-5, 13-11, 11-8, 11-2). At the quarter-final stage of the Mixed Team event life was very different; after Sun Yingsha had overcome Mariia Tailakova (11-3, 11-7, 11-6), Wang Chuqin underlined the fact that he had learned from the previous experience. There was no room for complacency but he was never in serious danger (11-4, 11-8, 14-12).

At the semi-final stage Tomokazu Harimoto and Miu Hirano meet Truls Moregard and Sabina Surjan; Lin Yun-Ju and Su Pei-Ling oppose Wang Chuqin and Su Pei-Ling.

The semi-finals, bronze medal and gold medal contests will be played on Monday 15th October, the closing day of the table tennis events at the Buenos Aires 2018 Youth Olympic Games.

Buenos Aires 2018 Youth Olympic Games Tomokazu Harimoto Sun Yingsha Miu Hirano Lin Yun -Ju Wang Chuqin Truls Moregard Su Pei-Ling Sabina Surjan

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Day 9 - Buenos Aires 2018 Youth Olympic Games