Otocec – Slovenia, Oct 31, 2013: Asia has claimed both the boys’ and girls’ team titles by defeating Europe at the 2013 ITTF World Cadet Challenge in Otocec, Slovenia.
Despite the gold medals and the Butterfly Cups going to Asia, the star of the show was Europe’s Adina DIACONU from Romania. She defeated top-ranked players China’s LI Yiran and Japan’s MIMA Ito in Europe’s 2-3 defeat to Asia, proving that she will be the next big thing in international table tennis.
“Going into the matches, I had nothing to lose, which worked in my favour,” stated the 14-year-old from the small Romanian town of Slatina.
“These are easily the biggest 2 victories of my career”, she added. “I am very proud to have beaten two such good players from very strong table tennis countries. My next goal is to qualify for the 2014 Youth Olympic Games and who knows, maybe even Rio 2016!”
13-year-old Puerto Rican Adriana DIAZ also shocked the table tennis world, pulling off the biggest upset in the World Cadet Challenge’s 11-year history by beating China’s LI Yiran in her group match.
The ITTF World Cadet Challenge is the most prestigious global under-15 event, and invites 4 boys and 4 girls from each continent, plus the ITTF Hopes Team and a team from the host country to battle it out in a team’s-style event.
Each boys’ and girls’ continental teams must be composed of athletes representing four different national associations, with the exception of North America which must enter two players each from Canada and USA.
ITTF Deputy CEO, Glenn Tepper, who oversees ITTF’s Development and Education programs stated: “this year’s ITTF World Cadet Challenge has so far been a huge success on multiple fronts. The traditional training camp held before the event highlighted the increasing emphasis on coach education by structuring the sessions to empower continental coaches, while providing educational sessions in the evenings.”
“Finally, the event itself has been a strong affirmation that ITTF’s Development and Education Programs are working, with all continents competitive, highlighted by the strong results by the girls from Romania and Puerto Rico,” he concluded.
The 2013 World Cadet Challenge continues on Friday 1 November with the 64 under 15 players facing off in singles and doubles with the finals being held on Sunday 3 November.
Team’s Final Results
Girls’ team final: Asia def Europe 3-2
• Asia’s Mima ITO (JPN) def Europe’s Tin-Tin Ho (ENG) 11-4, 11-9, 11-9
• Europe’s Adina DIACONU (ROU) def Asia’s LI Yiran (CHN) 11-9, 2-11, 11-5, 11-9
• Asia’s KIM Jiho (KOR) def Europe’s Lisa LUNG (BEL) 3-11, 9-11, 11-5, 11-6, 11-3
• Europe’s Adina DIACONU (ROU) def Asia’s Mima ITO (JPN) 11-6, 10-12, 11-6, 6-11, 11-9
• Asia’s LI Yiran (CHN) def Europe’s Tin-Tin Ho (ENG) 11-5, 11-9, 11-4
Boys’ team final: Asia def Europe 3-1
• Asia’s WANG Chuqin (CHN) def Europe’s Aliaksandr KHANIN (BLR) 11-7, 6-11, 11-6, 12-10
• Asia’s Minha HWANG (KOR) def Europe’s Tomas POLANSKY (CZE) 11-6, 10-12, 2-11, 11-9, 11-6
• Europe’s Maxim CHAPLYGIN (RUS) def Asia’s Takuto IZUMO (JPN) 6-11, 11-7, 11-7, 10-12, 11-7
Asia’s WANG Chuqin (CHN) def Europe’s Tomas POLANSKY (CZE) 11-7, 11-6, 9-11, 11-7. —- ITTF/ Photo: Andre Matic