15 Feb 2020

First place in the initial phase group the only option to progress to the main draw, there was no margin for error as the team events progressed on Friday 14th February at the 2020 ITTF World Junior Circuit Premium Czech Junior and Cadet Open in Hodonin.

There were surprise first positions but most significantly the top seeded outfits all reserved places in the second stage.

by Ian Marshall, Editor

In the junior boys’ team event, Poland, the top seeds, selecting from Samuel Kulczycki, Maciej Kubik, Lukasz Sokolowski and Milosz Redminski duly secured first place in their group, not a single individual match being surrendered.

The biggest surprise outfit to gain first place was the host nation’s combination of Simon Belik, Ondrej Kveton and Adam Stalzer; they commenced play the no.11 seeds. In a similar vein Russia’s Damir Akhmetsafin, Maksim Bokov and Maksim Kaburkin topped their group against predictions. They started proceedings the no.8 seeds in a competition that witnessed seven groups in the initial phase.

Hana Arapovic excels

Similarly, in the junior girls’ team competition, the Italian top seeded trio comprising Arianna Barani, Jamila Laurenti and Valentina Roncallo topped their group but not without experiencing difficulties.

They needed the full five matches to overcome the no.16 seeds, the Croatian combination of Hana Arapovic, Ivona Striga and Hanna Loncarevic. The player to cause the problems was Hana Arapovic; she accounted for both Arianna Barani (11-6, 11-8, 10-12, 11-4) and Jamila Laurenti (11-8, 11-7, 11-1).

Almost an upset but in the initial phase of the junior girls’ team event there was one surprise first position; however judging by the results of the previous day, it was not an unexpected top spot. Japan’s Miwa Harimoto, the winner of the junior girls’ singles title, alongside colleague Sachi Aoki and Norway’s Martine Toftaker, the no.10 seeds, secured first place in their group.

International combinations

Meanwhile, in the cadet boys’ team event, the top seeded international outfit formed by Australia’s Nicholas Lum, Iran’s Navid Shams and Gabriellius Camara of the Netherlands, ended the day in first place, as in the counterpart cadet girls’ team competition did a similar combination of players from different national associations. Portugal’s Matidle Pinto combined with Ireland’s Sophie Earley and Anna Hursey to reserve group first position.

Notably in the cadet boys’ team event, six groups in the first stage; Poland, the no.8 seeds, who selected from Mateusz Zalewski, Milosz Sawcak, Dawid Jadam and Alan Kulczycki secured first position in their group contrary to expectations as did the no.6 seeds, the Czech Republic combination of Vit Kadlec, Stepan Brhel and Daniel Kostal.

Three surprise first places

Meanwhile, in the cadet girls’ team competition, five groups in the initial stage, there three surprise first places. Ukraine’s Anastasilia Khachaturova, Veronika Matiunina and Sofila Sheredena, the no.14 seeds, topped their group against predictions, as did the no.6 seeds, the Czech Republic’s Helena Sommerova, Tereza Bartova and Katerina Pisarova.

Likewise, it was the head of the order for the no.8 seeds, Romania who selected from Bianca Mei Rosu, Andrea Teglas, Evelyn Lingvari and Iuliana Gaina.

Play in the team events concludes on Saturday 15th February.

World Junior Circuit 2020 Czech Junior & Cadet Open Poland Italy

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