History Written in Sharm El-Sheikh, Latin America Wins Girls’ Team Title
2015 ITTF World Cadet Challenge
Courtesy of ITTF
Bronze medalists the previous year, on the very precipice of defeat against Asia earlier in the day, Latin America won the Girls’ Team title at the 2015 ITTF World Cadet Challenge in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt on the late afternoon of Tuesday October 27th.
At the final hurdle they beat Europe, with Adriana Diaz and Bruna Takahashi unbeaten in a three-one success, as the history books of the tournament which first saw the light of day in Tiszaujvaros, Hungary we re-written.
It is the first time, that winners of a Team event at the ITTF Cadet Challenge, has not been secured by an outfit from the traditionally strong continents of Asia and Europe.
Started as Favorites
Latin America started proceedings as the favorites with Adriana Diaz and Bruna Takahashi being the highest ranked players on the Under 15 Girls’ World Rankings on duty.
However, favorites do not always win, in Sharm El-Sheikh in more ways than one the Latin American responded to the Challenge.
In the final Adriana Diaz staved off a brave recovery by Anasatasia Kolish to secure a full distance five games success (11-4, 11-6, 9-11, 6-11, 11-4), before Bruna Takahashi accounted for Andreea Dragoman in three straight games.
The win recorded by the Brazilians swung the balance of the contest very much in favor of Latin America; Andreea Dragoman was pivotal to European success. Just over one week earlier in the Romania city of Buzau she had won the Cadet Girls’ Singles title at the Romstal Europe Youth Top 10 without surrendering a single match.
Moment of Respite
Europe trailing by two matches to nil, Christina Källberg accounted for Esmerlyn Castro (11-8, 11-4, 11-7) but it was to be only a temporary stay of execution.
Just over one month earlier at the 2015 Croatian Junior and Cadet Open, Adriana Diaz had beaten Andreea Dragoman in the final of both Junior Girls’ Singles and Cadet Girls’ Singles event; in Sharm El-Sheikh she repeated the achievement.
She beat Andreea Dragoman in three straight games (11-2, 12-10, 11-6); the title was secured, it was celebration time in Africa, it was celebration time for Latin America.
“I am very proud and happy as it is the first time we win a world title”, said Adriana Diaz. “We know made history.”
It was a view echoed by Bruna Takahashi as she joined in the chorus.
“We are so happy for our first world title ever”, she added, being somewhere higher than cloud nine.
“I was leading two-zero in my match and then I relaxed for two games”, added Adriana Diaz on her way back to planet earth. “That could have cost me the match but my team supported me and told me to fight more.”
Adriana Diaz fought, she remained unbeaten throughout the whole event but she was the first to acknowledge it was a united effort, it was a united effort from a very special group, world title holders, Team Latin America.
Results: Boys Team, Girls Team
Visit ITTF for complete coverage of the 2015 ITTF World Cadet Challenge, plus photos on Flickr.