The North American Junior Championships is not one of the most prestigious continental championships out here. More a gathering of players really – often paying for participation out of their own pockets. However some considerable drama has been added since the introduction of the ITTF Global Junior Programme in 2003 – one yearly qualification match to determine the North American team representation at the ITTF World Junior Championships and also spots to be distributed for ITTF Cadet Challenge participation.
A split between Canada and the USA for the world juniors has been the most common result over the year – but not so anymore. When push came to show in Laval , Quebec located on the Montreal metro area, it was the United States of America walking away with all the goodies for the second year in a row. No surprise for the junior girls really – and here we can be in for years of domination from the US-Girls who clearly are showing steps of improvements on a daily basis, with the two young phenoms Ariel Hsing born 1995 and Lily Zhang born 1996 leading the way. Both these girls are the real deal – believe me.
On the other hand it must have been a tough loss for the Canadian Junior Boys team – who on paper at least should the upper hand on their US opponents. Both the Canadian nr one junior Andre Ho from Richmond , BC and the left handed Pierre Luc Theitrault from Quebec should have juice enough in their game to secure Canadian participation in Colombia. But not this time – the junior boys team title to the US Junior Boys team composed by the likes of Yahao Zhang, Timothy Wang and Peter Liu who with the win secured a spot in the World Junior Championships in Colombia 9-16 December.
Complete results – as far as they are avaliable ; http://www.ctta.ca/2009/NAChamps09/index.html
Starting on Wednesday this week – The PAN American2009 Cadet Challenge qualification – also the first step of the Youth Olympic Games qualifcation for players born 1994 and 1995. Ten boys and ten girls will compete for four spots on the PAN American Cadet team heading to Tokyo, Japan for the ITTF Cadet Challenge 2009.
The Eleven Points Blog has been quiet for a while – partly vacation – partly other priorities .. But will come alive moving forward starting with coverage from the PAN AM qualification in Laval.