New Zealand Take Out Junior Table Tennis Men's Title

Saturday 21 April 2012, 5:37PM

By Dave Worsley


New Zealand has won the junior men’s title in the teams event at the 2012 New Zealand Junior Open on the ITTF Global Junior Circuit in Auckland, but only after a struggle and having to defeat one of their own in the process.

The Kiwi side of Kevin Wu and Roger Rao who recently played for the New Zealand senior men’s side in Dortmund, Germany faced the combined team of a Thai player Max Poungsri and another Kiwi, Bryn Lindsay, who was the ‘next best’ local player not in a team. Earlier in the competition the New Zealand team had lost to the combined side 1-3, mainly thanks to Poungsri who is one of the favourites for the individual championships tomorrow.

On this occasion in the final Poungsri, was able to close out his two singles matches, beating Rao in straight games and having a tough four game win over Wu. However both Wu and Rao accounted for Lindsay in straight games and also won the doubles as a team in a hard-fought 11-5 19-17 12-10 match for the title.

The Junior girls teams tournament was played in a round robin format and dominated by Hong Kong/Singapore combined with Yee Lok Lam(Hong Kong) and Isabelle Li(Singapore) expected to also dictate play in the individual championships over the weekend. Second was Australia A followed by New Zealand.

Australia A won the boys Cadet(under 15) final over New Zealand B  3-0. Meanwhile New Zealand A girls team won their Cadet (under15) event not dropping a single game including defeating their closest rivals Australia A 3-0.

The players continue with the individual singles matches over the weekend and the finals on Sunday evening.

Junior Boys final:
(New Zealand names first)
Kevin Wu bt Bryn Lindsay 11-7 11-7 11-9, Roger Rao lt Max Poungsri 7-11 2-11 8-11, Wu/Rao bt Lindsay/Poungsri 11-5 19-17 12-10, Wu lt Poungsri 8-11 6-11 12-10 7-11, Rao bt Lindsay 11-2 11-3 11-6.
Cadet Boys final:
Australia A bt New Zealand B 3-0.
(Australian names first)
Ivan Sulfaro bt Michael Zhang 11-6 12-10 12-10, Dominic Huang bt Dean Shu 11-3 12-10 11-8 , Slfaro/Jake Duffy bt Zhang/Shu13-11 11-6 11-5.

Cadet Girls placings:
New Zealand A 1, Australia A 2, Malaysia/New Caledonia/Hong Kong combined 3.

Junior Girls placings:
Hong Kong/Singapore 1, Australia A 2, New Zealand 3.