What a treat it was to be , this Sunday 26 of June, in the Werner Schlager Academy in Schwechat to witness the conclusion of seven days of intense ITTF World Hopes Week action. The knockout stage of the Hopes Challenge featuring in total 89 athletes ( 38 girls and 51 boys) was played with high energy, plenty of emotions and showcased a very high level of Hopes Table Tennis.
The winners from Hong Kong
When the dust and drama finally settled late afternoon the two winners were both from Hong Kong . The right-handed , top spin prone LEUNG Tsz Ching Vaness won the girls singles event. She stumbled and almost fell in the morning rounds, winning two close five game encounters to advance to the quarterfinal , but settled down and won both the semifinal and final quite comfortably.
High Drama in the Boys competition
In the boys competition, drama seemed to be creeping along the flashy red carpet in the WSA event hall the whole day , always searching for a court to attack.
The Romanian Christi PLETEA however took the monster by his neck and twisted the fortune in his favour. In the quarters he beat out the promising , smooth playing Indian number one Ronit BHANJA in five games . In the semifinal he came back from 0-2 down and saved four match points in a highly dramatic match against the crowd-favorite Khanak JHA from Palo Alto, USA.
But it all ended there for the talented Romanian . WONG Ho Hin from Hong Kong controlled the final match from the first serve and won the first ever ITTF Hopes Challenge.