03 Dec 2021

Gold and silver, such was the outcome for Russia as play concluded in the under 15 age group team events, on Friday 3rd December, at the ITTF World Youth Championships in Vila Nova de Gaia.

For the boys it was the top step of the podium; for the girls, they finished next in line to Japan.

by Ian Marshall

Safely through to the semi-finals the previous day, very much a team effort was the order of the day for the Russian boys’ trio formed by Ilia Koniukov, Aleksei Samokhin and Roman Vinogradov.

A 3-0 penultimate round win was recorded against the Portuguese outfit comprising Tiago Abiodun, Bernardo Pinto and Rafael Silva, before a 3-1 success was the margin of victory in the final when opposing the United Sates line-up formed by Jensen Feng, Nandan Naresh and Daniel Tran.

“Naturally I feel very happy, to become World Champions. We have worked for this for a long time. I want to say thank you to everyone who helped us prepare for this World Championship. All matches were very difficult, it was necessary to tune in and focus for each match.” Aleksei Samokhin

Aleksei Samokhin, delighted to be a World champion (Photo: ITTF)


Impressive American

The one success in the final for the United States was gained in the opening match of the fixture when Nandan Naresh overcame Aleksei Samokhin (7-11, 12-10, 11-8, 11-8); Nandan Naresh being the hero of the hour against France at the semi-final stage.

After having experienced defeat in the opening contest against France when facing Flavien Coton (12-10, 11-8, 11-6), in the vital fifth and deciding match of the engagement, he accounted for Antoine Noirault (11-8, 11-7, 11-7) to give the United States a 3-2 win.

Nandan Naresh, most impressive (Photo: ITTF)


Similar outcome

Bronze for the United States, it was the same in the girls’ event; the trio comprising Faith Hu, Sally Moyland and Emily Tran experiencing a 3-1 defeat at the hands of Japan, the champions elect.

For the United States the one win was secured by Sally Moyland; in the second match of the engagement, she accounted for Yuna Ojio (14-12, 5-11, 11-8, 11-2).

Yuna Ojio experienced problems when facing Sally Moyland (Photo: ITTF)


Title secured

No changes to the Japanese selection; once again led by Miwa Harimoto with Yuna Ojio and Misaki Suzuki in support, a 3-1 margin of victory against Russia’s Anastasiia Ivanova, Kristina Kurilkina and Zlata Terekhiva reserved the top step of the podium.

“I don’t know what to say, I just feel very happy. It was the first international tournament in a long time, so it was fun that I was able to play. I was anxious at first, but in the end I’m glad I was able to play my own game and win.” Miwa Harimoto

Miwa Harimoto set the standard for the Japanese girls (Photo: ITTF)


Contender form maintained

Silver for Russia and hard earned silver; selecting the same three players, a full distance 3-2 win had been the outcome against the India team formed by Suhana Saini, Pritha Priya Vartikar and Sayali Rajesh Wani.

Notably, Suhana Saini, who this year has won no less than five under 15 girls’ singles titles this year at WTT Youth Contender tournaments, emerged the player to cause the Russians problems.

She beat both Kristina Kurilkina (11-4, 15-13, 9-11, 11-9) and Zlata Terekhova (12-10, 8-11, 11-7, 7-11, 11-7).

The Russian team found Suhana Saini a player in form


Attention now turns to the individual events; the mixed doubles commences proceedings on Saturday 4th December.

General News 2021 ITTF World Youth Championships 2021 ITTF World Youth Championships

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