US Youth Team Find Success in Croatia
Courtesy of USA Table Tennis
By: Matt Hetherington
US Youth Team Find Success in Croatia
A small contingent from the US Youth Teams traveled to play in the 2016 ITTF Croatia Junior and Cadet Open and shared some fantastic results with a number of impressive podium finishes in their respective events. The three Alguetti brothers, Sharon, Adar and Gal made a notable dent on the medal tally in their events, along with Victor Liu and also Amy Wang in the girls events.
The team event saw Victor Liu joining forces with a strong team from Chinese Taipei in the Junior Boys event and Adar Alguetti playing with two players from Portugal and Italy.
In the opening fixtures Adar was able to come back from 2-1 down to win in the 5th in the deciding match of the first tie against another mixed team. The team continued its form taking out Slovenia and Greece, where Adar won another tight 9 in the 5th duel to aid his team’s victory.
Victor went undefeated in his two matches with the team winning 3-0 against both Russia-Slovenia and Romania.
Perhaps one of the highlights for team USA was Adar’s stunning win in the semifinals against Japan, where he beat Yu Kayama 3-2. Yu is currently ranked #4 in the world for the cadets and #28 in the world for juniors. A brilliant result which helped lead his team to an oustanding 3-0 win to move into the finals.
The Taipei-USA team strolled into the final after a semifinal walkover. It would be a clash of teams with Adar and Victor both being on opposite sides of the final stage. It was a strong showing from Liu’s team as he won his singles and his teammates did their part with Adar falling 3-0 to Li Hsin-Yang. A great outcome for the team with Victor Liu winning a gold and Adar Alguetti taking silver in the event.
The Alguetti Duo of Sharon and Gal were a force to be reckoned with in the Cadet teams event, dropping only a single set on the way to qualifying for the main draw, leaving behind their oppositions form Slovenia and Czech Republic.
They moved into the semifinal, accounting for Belgium 3-0 to advance to the final, with Gal hanging on to win a tight 5 set match after trailing 2-1.
They clutched the final 3-2 after some intensely close exchanges. Sharon Alguetti recovered against Oliver Both to come back and win 12-10 in the 5th set while the doubles also went to 5 and saw a comeback from 2-1 down and a cherry on top with a decisive 11-1 win in the last game.
Gold for the Alguetti brothers to round of a successful team event with all of the boys making the podium.
Amy Wang was able to strike the medal rounds in the Cadet Girls singles event with a bronze medal, you can read about her performance here.
The Cadet Boys Singles saw the trio of Gal Alguetti, Sharon Alguetti and Victor Liu all advance through the group stages and start the climb from the round of 32 towards the podium. Gal won his round of 32 match but was defeated in the round of 16 in 4 games by Andras of Hungary. Sharon and Victor held their own to march onwards into the quarterfinal where they both recorded straight games victories.
Sharon defeated Feng Yi-Hsin from Chinese Taipei 3-0 while Victor accounted for Juhasz of Hungary, 3-1.
This set the stage for a US showdown in the final. It was Sharon Alguetti who took gold home, winning 3-1 and leaving Victor Liu to take the silver. A great effort by both boys to make it through a lot of matches in the draw, showing great consistency in form.
It was more medals for the USA in the Cadet Boys Doubles with Victor Liu taking gold with Feng Yi-Hsin over the silver medalists Sharon and Gal Alguetti.
Overall an incredibly successful event for team USA with an amazing medal haul, congratulations to all the players!