Bangkok, Dec 13, 2014: 14 year olds Mima ITO and Miu HIRANO from Japan have made history by becoming the youngest ever ITTF World Tour Grand Finals champions today in Bangkok, Thailand.
The duo, whose peers would have been at school instead of a $1,000,000 table tennis event, became the World Tour Grand Final women’s doubles champions in a gripping match.
ITO & HIRANO defeated the Polish pair in the gold medal match, which included triple Paralympics champion Natalia PARTYKA, an amazing achievement in itself for the class 10 superstar.
After beating PARTYKA and her partner Katarzyna GRZYBOWSKA 11-7, 11-6, 11-4, 11-5, ITO stated: “We beat them in the ITTF World Tour German Open final earlier this year, so we knew we could beat them, but of course this was a new match and it was a very special match. We knew it would be hard to win today.”
A smiling HIRANO added: “We have both practiced such a great deal. So I think we have a very good level of technical skills which helped a lot.”
When the girls were told that in addition to winning the women’s doubles crown, they would also receive a $40,000 cheque, they could not hide their excitement, jumping up and down hugging each other in disbelief.
“We are going to buy lots and lots of presents for our family and friends, we are so excited about this money,” stated the ecstatic pair.
It wasn’t all sweet for Japan though, as CHO Eonrae and SEO Hyundeok of Korea ruined their dream of completing a doubles clean sweep by defeating Kenta MATSUDAIRA and Koki NIWA to clinch the title.
“During the time-out, our coach told us that we must really focus on our services and play fast from the backhand”, shared CHO. “We were both a little tense during the last 2 points, but the top spin from the backhand by Hyundeok made all the difference.”
The singles event is up to the semi finals stage, with the winners being determined tomorrow in front of the capacity crowd at the Sports Authority of Thailand Indoor Stadium.
The semi finalists shows the depth of international table tennis, with seven different countries making up the four men’s and four women’s semi final positions. The men’s semi finals sees a battle of Asia v Europe and the women’s features one of the most improved player of 2014 Georgina Pota (HUN) play the biggest match of her life!
The semi finals line-up is:
• SEO Hyowon (KOR) VS YU Mengyu (SIN)
• Georgina POTA (HUN) VS Kasumi ISHIKAWA (JPN)
• Jun MIZUTANI (JPN) VS Marcos FREITAS (POR)
• TANG Peng (HKG) VS Dimitrij OVTCHAROV (GER). —- ITTF