The World Junior Table Tennis Championships in Riva del Garda are now officially in their second half. At the Baltera fair it is the day after the first medals: China defeated Japan by winning in both Boys and Girls Team Events.
The Chinese boys eased through the Japan’s rivals – left without World’s #1 Harimoto – by three matches to nil. “It was not easy”, said number six on the World ranking Xue Fei, “I lost the first game but I managed to turn things around and finally won it.” From the Girls side, Wang Manyu sealed the deal by winning the decisive point against Japanese Miyu Kato: “We brought the title back to China – said 18-years-old athlete – it was not easy after Shi Xunyao lost the third match. Hats off to Japan for playing a high-level tournament and proving to be a really strong contender.”
So far, the Championships confirmed the traditional Chinese supremacy, and it’s time for some early balances. “Japanese is producing a number of talented youngsters that are already showing up big also on the senior level – said ITTF President Thomas Weikert – but China is bringing up plenty on its own. China remains the leading force of our movement, but we are seeing the emersion of valuable opponents, and that is good for our sport. We are seeing a very high-level event, both from the technical and organizational side – and that’s exactly what we expected from Garda Trentino.”
Visiting the event on Thursday was also the Secretary General of the Italian Olympic Committee, Carlo Mornati, who praised the World Junior Champs and Garda Trentino: “This place is a perfect location for sports and an invaluable heritage for our sports movement. This event is a another successful experience, and certainly it won’t be the last in beautiful Garda Trentino”.
After the Mixed Doubles tournament had got off on Wednesday, on Thursday it was time for the Singles to begin. On Friday, also the sixteen top seeds will join the tournament, with Chinese and Japanese once again topping the odds for gold.