2018 ITTF World Cadet Challenge Team Update: US/Canada Teams Score Upsets
(by Steve Hopkins)
Tottori, Japan is the host of the 2018 ITTF World Cadet Challenge. The events run from October 27 to 31 and include six events: girls/boys singles, doubles, and team events.
The top individual players by seed on the boys’ side are Jacobo Vahnish of Panama, Madej Kubik of Poland, and Myshaal Sabhi of France and the top players on the girls’ side are Elena Zaharia of Romania, Kuai Man of China, and Elizabet Abraamian of Russia. The U.S. boy entrants are Nikhil Kumar and Sid Naresh (seeded 23 and 28) and the Canadian boys are Edward Ly and Edison Huang (seeded 16 and 29). Rachel Sung, Rachel Yang, and Emily Tan are representing the U.S. in the girls’ event (seeded 9, 30, and 31), and Canada is represented by Benita Zhou and Kelly Zhao (seeded 21 and 29).
The teams in the world challenge are made up of all entrants from your region, so those teams are Asia, Africa, Europe, Latin America, Oceania and North America. There is also a Hopes team which is made up of miscellaneous entrants and a Host team of all Japanese entrants. In the Boys’ Teams, the seeding from 1-8 is Europe, Latin America, Asia, Africa, Oceania, Japan, North America, and Hopes. In the Girls’ Teams, the seeding is Europe, Asia, Japan, Latin America, Oceania, Africa, North America, and Hopes.
In Group 1 of the Boys’ Teams, top seeded Europe fell to second seeded Asia (4-1) and third seeded Oceania fell to the fourth seeded ITTF Hopes team (3-2). The result was Asia first, Europe second, Hopes third, and Oceania fourth.
In Group 2 of the Boys’ Teams, third seeded Japan dominated all three opponents to win the group. And as a second surprise in the group, the fourth seeded North American team comprised of USA and Canadian boys defeated Latin America (4-1), and Africa (5-0) to take second place and advance to the elimination rounds.
In Group 1 of the Girls’ Teams, second seeded Japan upset top seeded Europe to secure first position while moving through the field undefeated. The North American team then surprised the field by upsetting Europe and Africa to take the second position.
In group two, Asia and Latin America took the top two positions, the ITTF Hopes team finished third, and Oceania finished fourth.
In the Cadet Boys’ Teams knock-out stage, Asia defeated North America 3-1 and Japan defeated Europe 3-0. Japan, the host team, then defeated the Asia team 3-1 to claim the title. In the North America loss, Nikil Kumar was the high spot, with a 3-1 win over Taipei’s Wang Guan-Ru.
In the Cadet Girls’ Teams knock-out stage, Japan defeated Latin America 3-0 and Asia defeated North American 3-2. Japan then took the title with a 3-2 win over Team Asia. USA’s Rachel Sung and Canada’s Benita Zhou scored wins in the team loss to Asia.
The team events began on Saturday and concluded on Sunday. Singles and doubles events will begin on Monday. In Saturday group play, both North American teams were seeded last in their groups and both managed two upsets to advance.
Click here for more results.