Tsaptsinos victory earns bronze medal for girls

The bronze medal-winning squad in France

Day Three

The England Girls’ National team of Tin-Tin Ho, Emma Torkington, Maria Tsaptsinos and Yuki Wat have scooped the bronze medal at the ISF World Schools’ Championships in Clermont-Ferrand.

The  side came up against strong Greek opponents and Yuki lost the first game against Filia Emiri 12-10 in the fifth. Tin-Tin then got England up and running with a three straight victory against Niki Briskola and Maria then put England 2-1 up when defeating Georgia Chatzily three straight.

England’s good progress continued in the doubles when Tin-Tin and Maria won in four against Christiana Kanari and Georgia. With three singles to go things were looking good for the England girls, when in the next game Tin-Tin beat Filia three straight, only to see Yuki lose in three against Georgia. With results elsewhere going in England’s favour, a good performance from Maria in the final game would surely bring success, and she duly served up the win that was required when defeating Niki in four to secure the bronze medal.

Earlier in the day, the girls had faced China in what proved to be a tough match. Maria lost three straight to Wenqian Huang and Yuki quickly followed, going down by the same score to Shiting Chen. Emma then faced Fenjie Qi hoping to get England on the scoresheet, but unfortunately, she also went down three straight. There was little relief in the doubles as Tin-Tin and Maria lost to Wenqian and Shiting, and there was no joy in the second half of the fixture, with Yuki losing to Wenqian, Maria to Fenjie and Emma to Shiting, although Maria did lose her game 11-8 in the fifth.

The Boys’ National side also had to face China and although putting up a very spirited display, also ended up losing 7-0. Helshan Weerasinghe lost to Shaobo Wang in four and Zhixu Wang three straight. Danny Lawrence lost in three to Zhixu and had a great match with Xinyang Wang before going down 11-6 in the fifth after leading two sets to one at one stage. Tom Jarvis also put up a good performance, losing in four to Xinyang and 11-8 in the fifth to Shaobo.

With China and Chinese Taipei battling for gold and silver, England then took on a very good French side to decide the bronze. Helshan lost the first game in the fifth against Clement Chobeau and Danny then went down in four against Mathieu Pigner.

With things looking bleak for England, Tom then went 2-0 up against Lucas Moland only for Lucas to come back strongly and win 11-7 in the fifth. With England now staring at defeat and the prospect of a bronze medal very remote, Helshan and Danny had a great doubles win against Lucas and Mathieu,  leaving the boys with a glimmer of hope. However, Helshan then lost in four to Mathieu and Tom in three against Clement, meaning England had to settle for fourth place as Danny’s last match was conceded.

The Schools’ sections had now reached the crossover stages, and Northfield found themselves in play offs 9-12 where they came up against Greece. Eleanor Davidson lost the opening game against Styliani Pateraki in four and Hannah Clark also lost in four to Thaleia Kordouti. Katie Barlow then gave Northfield some hope with a three straight victory over Ifigenieia Papageorgopoulos, only to see the Greek side regain the initiative with a straight doubles victory when Katie and Eleanor lost to Styliani and Thaleia. It was then up to Eleanor to keep Northfield in the match but after a spirited display she lost in four to Thaleia giving the Greek side a 4-1 victory.

Northfield  took to the table in session seven knowing that a win over Ireland would secure 11th position and avoid the wooden spoon. The girls duly came good in the last fixture, with Hannah defeating Shannon Turtill three straight, Eleanor winning  in three against Erin Prendergast and Katie being given a walkover. A three straight doubles success for Katie and Amy Webster over Shannon and Erin secured 11th position for Northfield.

In the boys’ section, London Academy had a match against Belgium for places 5-8 and in a one-sided match went down 4-1, with Gabriel Achampong registering their only win. Omar Khassal lost in three to Arthur Bilas, Gabriel beat Vincent Roger in three but lost in four to Arthur, whilst Karim Khassal lost in three against Valentin Stapelli. With the doubles also going to Belgium three straight, the match was lost 4-1.

London Academy’s last match was against Bulgaria and a good result would secure seventh position. This was finally achieved when Gabriel won the first game against Viktor Yanev in four and this was followed up by Omar defeating Daniel Petrov three straight. Bulgaria then hit back to level the score at 2-2 as Karim lost in three to Dimo Donchev and the Bulgarians also took the doubles when Viktor and Dimo beat Gabriel and Charlie Austen. With the match finely balanced Omar then won 13-11 in the fifth against Viktor, and Gabriel secured the win when defeating Dimo in three.

The England contingent in France

Click here for report from day one and day two

by John Blackband (8th April 2014)