2018 ITTF Premium Junior Circuit, Italy Junior & Cadet Open
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USA’s Sung Sisters in Italy: 2018 ITTF Premium Junior Circuit, Italy Junior & Cadet Open

2018 ITTF Premium Junior Circuit, Italy Junior & Cadet Open
(By Bruce Liu / Award podium photo courtesy of ITTF)

The Italy Junior & Cadet Open was held in Lignano Italy from March 21-25.  American sisters, Joanna and Rachel Sung, represented the US in the event.
In the Cadet Girls Team Event, the pair defeated Germany in the quarterfinals (3-2) before falling to China in the semifinals.  China went on to defeat Russia in the finals.
In the Cadet Girls Singles Event, Joanna advanced to the main draw but lost to Zhujun Ji of China in the first round.  Rachel advanced to the quarterfinals, losing to Jiayi Liang of China (2-3).  Adding to Rachel’s frustration was the fact that she lead the match 2-0, and had a match point opportunity in the fifth and decisive game.
In the Cadet Girls Doubles Event, the pair lost to the top seed (2-3) in quarterfinals. The 3rd game was critical. Joanna/Rachel lead 10:7 but despite using a time-out, lost 5 points in a row.
Joanna’s tournament highlight came in the round of 32 in the Junior Girls Singles event where she upset the 3rd seed, Marharyta Baltushite of Belarus (4-3).  She then lost to Olga Vishniakova of Russia in the round of 16.  Rachel lost to Zhou Jingyi of Singapore (4-3) in the round of 32.
In the Junior Girls Doubles Event, the pair secured the Bronze medal by defeating Romania (3-1), Singapore (3-2), and Russia (3-1) before falling to China (0-3) in the semifinals.  The Chinese pair went on to win the Gold in the event.
So, the final tally is in for the Sung Sisters: two bronze medals. This may not be the results they would like, but it was a great effort. China’s Cadets and Juniors won all of the gold medals along with many of the silver and bronze.   But the Sung sisters showed promise across each of the events, gaining important experience for the next major international event.
USA and China Relax at the beachimage1

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