Swedish Juniors Recap: North Americans Cause Waves in Scandinavia
(by Steve Hopkins/Photo by ITTF)
Örebro, Sweden hosted the 2020 ITTF World Junior Circuit Swedish Junior & Cadet Open. Americans and Canadians performed well in this week’s Swedish Junior Circuit event, but it was the contingent from the small island of Puerto Rican that caused the biggest waves.
The top seed in the Junior Boys event was Dorian Zheng from France, and he dominated his half of the draw – advancing all the way to the Final by spreading six lost games over five rounds. The second seed, Sweden’s Martin Friis was not nearly as fortunate – losing in the second round to Germany’s Vincent Senkbeil. The semifinals consisted of three of the four top seeds – the beneficiary of the Friis loss was Puerto Rico’s Angel Naranjo who claimed the final slot in the Semifinals.
Other players from this region joined Naranjo in the Main Draw. USA’s Aziz Zarehbin won two matches before falling to Russia’s Maksim Kaburkin in the Round of 16. Puerto Rico’s Jabdiel Torres finished 1-1, falling early to Singapore’s Yong Izaac Quek. Canada’s Pierre-Anthony Gauthier fell in the opening round to Sweden’s Charlie Widing.
In the Junior Boys Semifinals it was Ireland’s Owen Cathcart over Puerto Rico’s Angel Naranjo 4-1 and Dorian Zheng over Yong Izaac Quek 4-1. In the Final, it was Ireland’s Owen Cathcart with a 4-2 win over Dorian Zheng.
In the Junior Girls event, USA’s Faith Tung finished 1-1, losing to Annett Kaufmann of Germany in the second round. USA’s Maria Sirakova had the same result – a first round win before falling to the tournament’s second seed in the second round. Canada’s Katherine Morin and Puerto Rico’s Briranna Burgos each fell in the opening round. The Final was France’s Prithika Pavade over Singapore’s Lin Qian Ser.
The Cadet Boys event USA’s Aziz Zarehbin won two rounds before falling to Canada’s Simeon Martin. Martin actually had a run all the way to the Finals – logging at least three upsets along the way. Puerto Rico’s Oscar Birriel Rivera was another to turn heads in this event. He advanced four rounds before falling to Singapore’s Yong Izaac Quek. Quek was the event winner – scoring a 3-0 victory over Canada’s Simeon Martin.
Only one North American competed in the Cadet Girls event. Puerto Rico’s Brianna Burgos advanced to the third round before falling to Jingyi Zhou of Singapore. Zhou advanced to the Semifinals before falling to Miwa Harimoto. Miwa went on to win the event – making this an interesting Harimoto sweep – as her big brother, Tomikazu Harimoto, won the Hungarian Open today on the ITTF World Tour.
USA also entered two into the Mini-Cadet Girls event. Natalie Chan fell in her opening round to Ukraine’s Olha Ponko 3-1 and Isha Bajpai went 1-1, falling in the second round to Mathan Rajan of India.
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