03 Dec 2023

As the curtains fall on an exhilarating spectacle of young talent and sheer determination, the final day of the ITTF World Youth Championships 2023 stood as a testament to the incredible level of skill and sportsmanship showcased throughout this event.   

In the U15 Girls’ Singles, Japan’s Yuna Ojio continued her golden streak, triumphing over her Chinese opponents yet again in the semifinal, before a captivating win against Korean Yoo Yerin in the final. Though Yuna Ojio proved dominant in the final, it was an eventful journey for Yoo Yerin, who displayed remarkable talent and resilience throughout the event. For Yuna Ojio, this victory marked a momentous clean sweep, securing gold in all the events she participated in. 

In the U15 Boys’ Singles, the Chinese dominance was evident as Sun Yang showcased his prowess, emerging victorious in his semifinal match against Portugal’s Tiago Abiodun. Despite Abiodun’s valiant effort, Sun Yang’s performance demonstrated the exceptional level of skill among the Chinese contingent. Another semifinal treat unfolded with Japan’s Tamito Watanabe edging past Wang Jixuan in an exciting match that culminated 4-3. Tamito however was not able to repeat his victory in the final, after a convincing display by Sun Yang added to China’s gold medal tally here in Nova Gorica. 

Moving to the U19 Singles, Romanian Elena Zaharia orchestrated a stunning upset in the Girls’ Singles semifinal, triumphing over favourite China’s Xu Yi in a thrilling encounter. The other semifinal saw Germany’s Annett Kaufmann battle valiantly but faced a tough challenge from the skillful Kuai Man, who emerged victorious, proving her prowess on the court. Elena’s fairytale run came to an end in the final against Kuai Man, who claimed victory 4-0. Elena’s smile remained intact, a testament to her memorable journey in this championship. 

In the U19 Boys’ Singles, the semifinals brimmed with intense action. Romania’s Eduard Ionescu stormed ahead, claiming the initial two games against Wen Ruibo, yet Wen’s resilience prevailed as he secured a victory. Simultaneously, Chinese Taipei’s Kao Cheng-Jui took a commanding 2-0 lead against reigning champion Lin Shidong. Despite the start, Lin Shidong’s tenacity led to a remarkable turnaround, sealing his berth in the all-Chinese final. The final witnessed an early lead by Wen Ruibo, swiftly countered by Lin Shidong, who secured a commanding 4-1 victory. 

This championship has been a tremendous showcase of the sport’s future stars, orchestrated brilliantly by the Slovenia Table Tennis Association. As we bid farewell to a thrilling and eventful ITTF World Youth Championships 2023, the aspirations of these young talents propel them toward the next chapter in Helsingborg, Sweden.  

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