(by Wade Townsend)
At the 2017 Australian Junior & Cadet Open the youngest athletes decided to follow their own script.
Today at the Australian Junior & Cadet Open the cadets decided that seeding isn’t something to take too seriously.
In the Cadet Girls’ Teams it was the the mixed team of Australia and USA that finished on top. While this wasn’t surprising, the results of Australia’s Charmaine Quah were beyond exceptions. Quah, the bottom seed for the singles, was the only player to finish the event undefeated.
While Australia A was able to put up a strong performance with Sue Bin Oh (AUS) winning in a tight five game match against top seeded Lavanya Maruthapandian (USA), it wasn’t enough. Quah remained the backbone of the team, and AUS-USA secured gold, leaving Australia B with silver and Australia A with bronze.
The singles is shaping up to be a close contest. With Australia’s top seed Cindy Suy with two loses, other than the undefeated Quah, the other girls each only have one loss to their name. Definitely don’t try picking the winner just yet.
Meanwhile the Cadet Boy’s Teams provided a classic comeback, when Australia B came from 0-2 behind against Australia A to take the match and the gold medal.
A 3-0 win in the doubles provided the momentum the team needed, but it was the five game win from Nicholas Lum that was pivotal moment. Lum won 3-2 against Noah Kim, with the final two games going his way 11-9.
Lum, eleven years old and competing in his first ITTF World Junior Circuit event, handled his team’s 0-2 deficit like a pro.
“It was tough to cope with the pressure but I kept fighting and stayed positive.” Nicholas Lum
Alex Yeung secured the match with a 3-0 win over Finn Lu.
The underdogs came out on top today, just how Aussies like their sporting stories.
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