2009 ITTF Cadet Challenge / ITTF Junior Circuit Finals
Bernadette SZÖCS is the first ever table tennis player to qualify for a Youth Olympic Games. The Romanian girl overcame European champion Petrissa SOLJA of Germany in four straight games in the quarter-finals of the Cadet Girls’ Singles event at the ITTF Cadet Challenge in Tokyo, the first qualification event for next year’s Games in Singapore. The three other girls beside SZOCS are Korea’s YANG Ha Eun, Ayuka TANIOKA of Japan and Suthasini SAWETTABUT of Thailand.
Exactly at 15:59 local time the 14 year old took the match point and raised her arms in victory. But how was it possible that she beat a player to whom she lost at the European Youth Championships only a few months ago? “I listened to the advice of my coach”, Szöcs said. “And no matter if I would win or lose, at least I wanted to fight.”
Mühlbach and Morizono Enter the Final
At the simultaneously staged Junior Circuit Finals, the highlight for the players under 18 years, Germany’s Kathrin MÜHLBACH surprisingly qualified for the final. The 17 year old overcame Slovakia’s Barbora BALAZOVA of Slovakia. “It was the first time that I could beat her”, MÜHLBACH said. The qualification for the final is far more that she has ever expected. “My goal was to finish my group first or second in order to be among the top eight. The qualification for the final delights me of course.”
In tomorrow’s final, MÜHLBACH will face local girl Misaki MORIZONO. The top seeded Japanese, who ousted Korea’s PARK Joo Hyun in six games, never made a secret of her ambitious goal. “I would like to win this time as I was runner-up last time”, MORIZONO stated before the tournament.
More Information about the Events in Tokyo
Please find all relevant information about this year’s ITTF Cadet Challenge and Juniors Circuit Final in the Press Kit on www.ittf.com/printer/Media_Service/CC_JCF%202009_Tokyo/Press_Kit_CC-JCF_2009.pdf. The section dedicated to the events in Tokyo is on the ITTF website on: www.ittf.com/competitions/competitions2.asp?Competition_ID=1886&category=WJCF
photo Getty Images
photo Getty images