Tin-Tin Ho took a major step towards securing England’s first-ever Cadet Girls’ Singles gold medal on Saturday despite narrowly missing out on the Mixed Doubles triumph.

The Cadet No. 1 ensured that she would medal in every cadet discipline from the 2013 European Youth Championships in Ostrava, Czech Republic, but she was just unable to win a first gold medal when she and partner Tomas Polansky were defeated in an absorbing five-game Mixed Doubles final.

Visions of Paul Drinkhall’s brilliant hat-trick of golds in Terni, Italy 2008 were coming back into focus as the unflappable youngster serenely progressed to the semi-finals of every competition.

However, the perfect hat-trick was ultimately denied by Romanian pair Alexandru Manole and Andreea Clapa in a tense mixed doubles final.

Tin-Tin and Polansky had already held their nerve once on the day to beat Russian defenders Maxim Chaplygin and Maria Malanina 12-10 in the deciding game of their semi-final and it seemed the same steel would be required when the final also progressed into a fifth end.

Unfortunately, despite a 9-7 lead at one stage, Tin-Tin and home favourite Polansky could not close out the match and four consecutive points from Manole and Clapa stole the title away late in the day.

Positively though for the 14-year-old, she still has two more chances in the Cadet Girls’ Singles and Doubles on Sunday as she lines-up for a brace of semi-finals.

The Paddington-born star was in flying form in the singles as she didn’t drop a game throughout two tremendous victories over France’s Camille Campion and Russia’s Anastasia Kolish.

Tomorrow morning she will face Romania’s Adina Diaconu for a chance to play either hot-favourite Marie Migot (FRA) or Andreea Clapa (ROU) in the final.

She will also partner Maria Malanina in the Girls’ Doubles at the semi-final stage on Sunday against Andreea Dragoman and Mihaela Plaeasu (ROU).  The English and Russian girls are the favourites for the tournament having partnered each other on several previous occasions in Europe.

Finally, there was also good news for Marcus Giles today as the English cadet boys restored some pride in Ostrava. While he and Tom Jarvis made the quarter-finals of the Boys’ Doubles, Giles was able to win the Consolation singles after three consecutive 3-2 wins.

Fellow cadet Luke Savill also made the semi-final but the headlines went to Giles who emerged triumphant 3-0 (11-7, 11-8, 11-3) against Sweden’s Vilmer Georgsson in a one-sided final.

56th European Youth Championships (12-21st July 2013) Ostrava, Czech Republic
Singles Results
Last 16:
Tin-Tin Ho bt Camille Campion (FRA) 4-0 (11-7, 11-7, 11-5, 11-8)
Tin-Tin Ho bt Anastasia Kolish (RUS) 4-0 (11-6, 11-7, 11-9, 11-4)
Tin-Tin Ho vs Adina Diaconu (ROU) 10:20
(Final at 13:30)

Doubles Results:
Last 16:
Tom Jarvis/Marcus Giles bt Cristian Pletea/Alexandru Manole (ROU) 3-1 (8-11, 11-9, 11-7, 11-9)
Darko Jorgic (SLO)/Nils Hohmeier (GER) bt Tom Jarvis/Marcus Giles 3-2 (11-8, 11-9, 9-11, 9-11, 11-2)

Cadet Girls Doubles:
Last 16:
Tin-Tin Ho/Maria Malanina (RUS) bt Matea Ombla/Klara Cakol (CRO) 3-0 (11-8, 11-2, 11-4)
Tin-Tin Ho/Maria Malanina (RUS) bt Sabina Surjan/Izabela Lupulesku (SRB) 3-0 (11-7, 16-14, 11-4)
Tin-Tin Ho/Maria Malanina (RUS) vs Andreea Dragoman/Mihaela Plaesu (ROU) 09:00
(Final at 12:00)

Cadet Mixed Doubles:
Tin-Tin Ho/Tomas Polansky (CZE) bt Maxim Chaplygin/Maria Malanina (RUS) 3-2 (16-14, 5-11, 11-8, 3-11, 12-10)
Alexandru Manole/Andreea Clapa (ROU) bt Tin-Tin Ho/Tomas Polansky (CZE) 3-2 (7-11, 11-8, 8-11, 11-3, 11-9)

Click here to view the full consolation event results

Written by Russell Moore (July 20, 2013)