Vila Nova de Gaia, Portugal, Jan 25, 2014: The first four girls and four boys have qualified to the Nanjing 2014 Youth Olympic Games via the 2013 Road to Nanjing Finals in Vila Nova de Gaia, Portugal.
The 2013 Road to Nanjing Finals was the conclusion of the 2013 Road to Nanjing series, which included one event in each continent, for a total of six events.
Players born between 1996-1999 battled throughout this series to be one of the 16 boys and 16 girls (one per National Olympic Committee) that qualified for the 2013 Road to Nanjing Finals here in Vila Nova de Gaia. The top 4 boys, and top 4 girls (one per NOC) then secured their place at the 2014 Youth Olympic Games.
The four girls to do this were Hong Kong’s Doo Hoi Kem, Chinese Taipei’s Chiu Ssu-Hua, Romania’s Adina Diaconu and Japan’s Miyu Kato, who all successfully progressed to the semi-finals to secure to four qualification spots on offer.
The number one seed and the player in form during the competition and series Doo Hoi Kem stated: “I was nervous at the start of the match, I knew that if I could win that I would qualify to play in Nanjing which would be a dream come true. I was happy that I could hold my nerve and secure my position.”
The top four seeded girls were the ones that booked their ticket to Nanjing, but this was not the case in the boy’s event. Seeded seventh, Hungary’s Adam Szudi beat the number one seed, while sixth seed Germany’s Kilian Ort beat the number four seed to secure the berths in Nanjing.
These two will be joined by in the world’s premier youth event by Yang Heng-Wei and David Reitspies who were both impressive here in Portugal.
A delighted Adam Szudi, who caused the upset of the tournament, stated: “I was nervous before the match as there was so much at stake here and that’s one of the reasons I lost the first game. After that game I was more relaxed, I focused on playing short to his forehand; especially with my service.”
The additional places to fill the 32 spots available for each gender in Nanjing will be filled by:
• ITTF Under-18 World Ranking – 3 per gender
• Road to Nanjing 2014 series – 6 per gender
• Continental Qualification events – 14 places per gender
• Tripartite – 4 places per gender
• Host country – 1 per gender
The 32 boys and 32 girls that qualify for the Nanjing 2014, will fight it out for 3 gold medals: boys’ singles, girls’ singles and the mixed teams event, which consists of one boy and one girl who have qualified for the singles event.
The Nanjing 2014 Youth Olympic Games Table Tennis event will be held at Wutaishan Sport Complex on 17-23 August 2014.
The majority of the players that played in the 2013 Road to Nanjing Finals will now line up for the 2013 Global Junior Circuit Finals, which the top 16 boys and girls from the 32 Global Junior Circuit events qualified for in 2013.
Quarter Final Results (winner secured berth at Nanjing 2014 Youth Olympic Games):
• Doo Hoi Kem (HGK) beat Tamolwan Khetkhuan (THA) 7-11, 11-7, 11-6, 11-9, 11-9
• Chiu Ssu-Hua (TPE) beat Charlotte Carey (GBR) 12-10, 11-3, 11-4, 11-4
• Adina Diaconu (ROU) beat Natalia Bajor (POL) 7-11, 9-11, 11-9, 11-9, 9-11, 11-9, 11-9
• Miyu Kato (JPN) beat Anqi Luo (CAN) 11-6, 11-7, 10-12, 11-4, 11-5
• David Reitspies (CZE) beat Diogo Chen (POR) 9-11, 11-8, 5-11, 11-7, 11-9, 11-9
• Yang Heng-Wei (TPE) beat Kim Minhyeok (KOR) 11-4, 11-8, 12-10, 2-11, 5-11, 8-11, 13-11
• Adam Szudi (HUN) beat Hugo Calderano (BRA) 5-11, 12-10, 11-8, 11-8, 11-7
Kilian Ort (GER) beat Hung Ka Tak (HGK) 11-6, 11-3, 12-10, 11-6. —- Photo by ITTF