Three out of the eight quarterfinals in the junior category went the full distance this morning. The best match – with the most drama was the junior girl’s quarterfinal between France and Romania. When the smoke finally settled after a three hour long point by point battle, it was the Romania girls celebrating victory. Match- winner was one of the more interesting prospects in Europe, the Romanian defensive players Camelia POSTOACA. She plays Table Tennis in a half defensive mode, pimples out on the backhand side and actually has a seldom seen sharp forehand attack going at times, giving her a nice weapon at this level. Yes – the defense still needs a lot of work – but patterns of movement and a natural quickness will work in her favor.
Pavel Sirucek entered the court for the key matchup with the German nr one junior Patryk Franziska with his Czech team in command two matches to one. He exited the playing area just some 25 minutes later shaking his head following an uninspired and nervous performance loosing 1-3. Partly nerves, partly pressure – but it wasn’t pretty. Franziska on the other hand clearly looked dominant at times, especially in the service and returning department.
The Comeback Kid
The comeback kid in the Swedish Junior Boys team is definitely the crafty, creative Mattias Oversjo. Oversjo did not play in the 2008 championships or to be perfectly correct , he wasn’t picked for the Swedish team , despite being high on the ranking list. Junior National Coach Tomas Von Scheele demanded more focus in practice as well as a general improvement in attitude from the 17 year old former cadet champion. An agreement was reached between the involved parties in the start of the preparation process for Prague, which indeed turned out to be a good thing for the Swedes, especially when one of their top junior Mattias Karlsson went down with a broken foot five weeks ago
I asked Tomas yesterday about Mattias and his performance in practice and competition so far;
“I have to say much, much better Von Scheele said. Having said that , Mattias must show quick improvements in many fundamental areas in order to become a good senior player which is why we are working here Thomas explained “
Good thing Oversjo sharpened up. He looked nervous in the fifth and deciding match against Hungary – but held on and solved matters three games to one , to bring the Swedes at least a medal and possibly a spot in the final although Germany with Patryk Franziska surely will be a difficult task.
World Junior -2009 qualifiers
The results in the quarterfinals also decided the European particpation in the ITTF World Junior Championships in Cartagena de Indies , Colombia coming up in the month of December this year . Junior Girls qualifiers are : Germany, Romania, Poland and Hungary. Junior Boys ; Sweden, Portugal, France and Germany.