by Ian Marshall, Editor
At the final hurdle, selecting Dorottya Tolgyes, Hana Arapovic and Elena Zaharia, the European outfit recorded a 3-0 win in opposition to the Hopes team, the no.5 seeds, comprising Ser Lin Qian, Sophie Earley and Emily Tan.
A win as predicted but very different to one day earlier; in the very first fixture of the tournament the two outfits had met; on that occasion the Hopes team had secured a surprise 3-2 win.
The eventual outcome was the Hopes Team finished in first position in the group, Europe second; thus at the semi-final stage Europe faced Asia, the no.2 seeds.
It was at that juncture Hana Arapovic shone. In the second match of the fixture she beat Kaho Akae, the runner up in the cadet girls’ singles event at the recent Asian Junior and Cadet Championships (11-8, 6-11, 11-7, 11-7), before in the crucial deciding fifth match overcoming Lee Yeonhui (13-15, 11-7, 8-11, 11-7, 11-4) to secure a 3-2 victory. The one further success for Europe was recorded in the third match of the engagement when Dorottya Tolgyes accounted for Zhou Jingyi (11-8, 5-11, 11-5, 11-8).
“I’m really happy about my game; I think I played really well. I didn’t expect to win both matches. We all played our best and we won”. Hana Arapovic
Hard fought success but above all, it was a major confidence boost for the ensuing contest against the team they had experienced defeat.
Better than expected
Runners up spot for the Hopes team but a far better finish than they could have anticipated; they commenced play the no.5 seeds. At the semi-final stage, they recorded a 3-1 win in opposition to Poland’s Anna Brzyska, Wiktoria Wrobel and Ilona Sztwiertnia, the no.6 seeds, a fixture in which Lee Xin Ni was preferred to Emily Tan.
A fine effort from Poland and an eventual fourth place; in the play-off contest with no changes to the selection, they experienced a 3-0 defeat against Asia who selected Yashawini Deepak Ghorpade in preference to Zhou Jingyi.
Meanwhile, in the boys’ team event, Asia secured the title recording 3-0 victories at both the semi-final and final stages.
Selecting Jang Seongil, Sora Matsushima and Payas Jain, a penultimate round win was posted against the no.2 seeds, the European combination of Darius Movileanu, Louis Laffineur and Simon Belik, before by the same margin, the title was secured at the final expense of the no.3 seeds, the Hopes combination of Izaac Quek Yong, Iulian Chirita and Daniel Berzosa.
Notably, the defeat experienced by Izaac Quek Yong in the final against Jang Seongil (5-11, 14-12, 11-6, 12-10) was his only reverse in the whole event.
Third place for Europe
Earlier, the Hopes team, who the previous day had recorded a 4-1 win against Europe in the group stage, had emerged successful in hard fought penultimate round contest. They secured a 3-2 success against Poland’s Milosz Redzimski, Alan Kulczycki and Mateusz Zalewski, an engagement in which Ebrahim Abdulhakim Gubran was preferred to Daniel Beroza,
Later, in the third place contest Europe, who selected Denis Izumrudov as opposed to Simon Belik, posted a 3-0 win against Poland.
The team events concluded and surely two firsts; the first time a Hopes team had reached both finals and the first time a European national team (Poland) had gained podium places in both disciplines.
In both the boys’ team and girls’ team events, the semi-finalists receive bronze medals.
Cultural day now follows, the individual events commence on Tuesday 29th October.