World Juniors Update: Solid Results for US Junior Teams
(by Steve Hopkins/Photo by ITTF)
The NSDF 2019 ITTF World Junior Table Tennis Championships started yesterday in Korat, Thailand. The tournament features Team and Singles events this week concluding with the Singles Finals on Sunday.
In the Team events, the US Boys were seeded 10th with Nikhil Kumar, Victor Liu, Michael Minh Tran, and Kai Zarehbin representing the US. The Girls Team was seeded 5th and was made up of Amy Wang, Crystal Wang, Rachel Sung, and Rachel Yang.
The Boys Team was seeded second in their group, but easily defeated Australia 3-0 and then upset Belgium 3-1 to advance. It was Nikhil Kumar that lead the way with two wins in the match with Belgium, and Victor Liu that added the third victory. TeamUSA then faced off against Taipei in the Quarterfinals but fell just short – losing 3-2. Kumar again won both of his matches, but those were the only wins as the strong Taipei team advanced.
The Girls Team was seeded first in their group and they dominated with 3-0 wins over both Australia and Canada. However, Team USA faced off against a very strong Japanese team in the Quarterfinals and fell 3-1. Amy Wang managed to put TeamUSA up with a win in the opening match, but Japan won each of the final three matches 3-0 to advance.
These are solid results for the Americans. Both teams advanced to the knock-out rounds. Both teams were undefeated in preliminary groups. And both teams lost to a higher seeded team.
Singles events will begin later in the week, with TeamUSA players scheduled to start Group play on Thursday.
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