by Ian Marshall, Editor
Winner on the ITTF World Junior Circuit of the cadet boys’ singles event in 2017 in Tweed Heads, Nathan Xu justified his top seeded billing.
Facing Australian adversaries, at the semi-final stage he beat Isaiah Lee (11-7, 11-7, 11-1, 15-13), prior to securing the title at the final expense of Lee Yonghun, the no.2 seed (11-8, 11-8, 6-11, 12-10, 6-11, 9-11, 11-2). In the counterpart semi-final, Lee Yonghun had ousted compatriot, Hayden Green, the no.4 seed (6-11, 11-8, 11-9, 3-11, 11-9, 11-2).
Success for Nathan Xu but that was to be the only title to elude Australia.
In the junior girls’ singles event, Parleen Kaur, the top seed, accounted for New Zealand’s Zhou Jiayi, the no.2 seed (5-11, 9-11, 11-3, 11-5, 11-4, 11-4), after having in the penultimate found overcome compatriot Matilda Alexandersson (7-11, 8-11, 11-9, 11-9, 11-7, 13-11). In the adjacent half of the draw, Zhou Jiayi had ended the hopes of Michelle Wu, the no.3 seed and like Parleen Kaur from Australia (7-11, 11-8, 9-11, 11-7, 11-4, 11-5).
The win recorded by Parleen Kaur meant she completed a clean sweep of available titles. Earlier she had joined forces with Michelle Wu and Matilda Alexandersson to secure the junior girls’ team title, before partnering Finn Luu to junior mixed doubles gold and Matilda Alexandersson the top spot in the junior girls’ team competition.
Gold for Parleen Kaur, who represented Australia in the 2018 World Team Cup in London but she did not emerge the player with the largest selection of gold medals; that honour befell colleague Finn Luu.
On the concluding day of play he secured the cadet boys’ singles title beating Nicholas Lum in the final (12-10, 11-9, 9-11, 7-11, 11-7). Thus he collected his fifth title of the tournament, like Parleen Kaur remaining unbeaten throughout the four days of action.
Previously he had been a member of the successful junior boys’ team, before partnering Parleen Kaur to junior mixed doubles gold and Nicholas Lum to the top prize in both the junior boys’ doubles and cadet boys’ doubles events.
Adding to the list, it was the same for Chermaine Quah; she beat New Zealand’s Takaimaania Ngata-Henare to secure cadet girls’ singles gold (11-2, 11-9, 11-7) and thus gained her third title; earlier she had partnered Constantina Psihogios to cadet girls’ team and cadet girls’ doubles gold.
A total of 14 titles on offer, no less than 13 finished in Australian hands, a golden tournament for the green and gold.