Favorite teams keep rolling in Riva del Garda in the Day 2 of the World Junior Table Tennis Championships on Monday November 27th, but the overall level gets higher and higher. Top-seeded teams Japan and China made their debut in the event on the day, and did not disappoint.
In the Boys Teams Tournament, China had no mercy of its rivals: led by Xue Fei, it seamlessly ruled its group ahead of France (2nd) and India (3rd). Other groups proved more balanced: Japan had to play hard to see off Germany (2nd) and Italy (3rd). Taipei also finished first, whilst South Korea had to surrender the first place to Romania.
Asian teams roll also in the Girls’ event, but again Romania was the only non-Asian team to finish first in its qualification group. In addition to Japan, China and South Korea – the other top-spot finishers – Germany and Serbia beat higher-ranked Russia and Hong Kong in exciting encounters.
Russia was the biggest surprise of the day, and not in a good way: both Boys and Girls finished last in their group and were left out of the top-8. The Russian girls were beaten by Germany, whilst the boys were edged by the United States in a tight duel.
The intense playing schedule continues: tomorrow quarter and semifinals of both team events will take place. Meantime, the players are looking forward to some “rest” to enjoy some of Garda Trentino’s beautiful sights: “It’s my first time in Italy – said Egypt’s Youssef Abdel-Aziz, Africa’s #1 in ITTF Under 18 ranking – and I can’t wait for the opportunity to discover the area and the Lake Garda. But it will be hard before the end of the team event!”
Today, ITTF President Thomas Weikert also arrived at the Baltera Fair, in the view of the final phases of the team events: the first World medals will be awarded in less than two days, on Wednesday.