Courtesy of Bruce Liu
Official ITTF website – http://www.ittf.com/competitions/competitions2.asp?Competition_ID=2420&category=YOG
Lily Zhang has qualified for Youth Olympic Games with her February 2014 world ranking. Since the YOG limited one player per country, US girls did not compete in the this event.
This was the final chance for US boys to qualify for the Nanjing YOG. Four US boys participated – Kunal Chodri, Allen Wang, Krish Avvari, and Aashay Patel. In case your are wondering why Kanak Jha was not there, he is a few months too young for the 2014 YOG.
So, four Canadian boys and four US boys would compete for one last spot for North America. They were divided into two groups, one for US, and the other for Canada. The top two finishers in each group would advance to the single elimination semifinal draw.
It wasn’t the US top seed in the cross-over semifinals, Allen lost a heartbreaking deuce match (11-9,5-11,11-9,11-7,5-11,11-13,12-14) to Klement. Alas, it ended his road to Nanjing YOG. Krish, on the other semifinals, defeated Filip 4-2. Nanjing YOG was within one-match reach to Krish and Klement now. Krish did not disappoint his supporters by defeating Klement 4-1. Way to go, Krish! Kunal’s day in the Stage 1 competition. He first got upset in straight yet competitive games by the third seed Krish who he practically grew up together in Fremont, California. Then he lost to the second seed Allen Wang in a tough deuce-in-the-fifth match (15-13, 11-5, 9-11, 10-12,14-16). Before this match, Kunal had a five-match winning streak in the US competition since December 2012. Allen also defeated Krish deuce in the fifth (12-10, 11-8, 13-15, 3-11,13-11). So, Allen advanced to the semifinals as the top finisher while Krish as the second. Filip Ilijevski and Klement Yeung of Canada tied at 2-1 but Filip advanced as the top finisher by his head-to-head result against Klement.
Other than Krish’s family, the most excited and proudest people are probably coaches at India Community Center (ICC). After qualified three players in the 2012 London Olympics for the US. They prove once again that their hard work does pay off.
In 2010 Singapore YOG, only Ariel Hsing qualified for the US. We have two YOG Olympians now which is the maximum number for a country. Congratulations to both Lily and Krish.