Cippenham Junior 4-Star Open - 18/19 May 2019
Four different winners in Junior 4-Star
Cippenham Table Tennis Club held its fifth Junior 4-Star Open Championships over the weekend and, once again, it was a great success with many of the top juniors and cadets from the south of England and Wales competing for top ranking points.
The two-day tournament started with the cadet events on Saturday. The boys’ event started with a group stage with the fifty-seven competitors split into nineteen groups. All but two of the top eight seeds made it through their group in first place but sixth seed Louie Evans was beaten by Jaco Di Lu and seventh seed Victor Ramirez Rioja succumbed to Larry Trumpauskas. Nevertheless, Evans and Rioja qualified for the main event by virtue of their second places.
Seven of the top eight group winners then made it through to their allotted places in the quarter-finals. The odd one out was Trumpauskas who was beaten by Donald Marcus deuce in the fifth game and then Marcus fell to group 15 winner Octavian Aparaschieve in round two. That, though, was as far as he could go with top seed Louis Price too strong in the quarter-final. Third seed Joshua Bruce beat fifth seed James Hamblett at the same stage to set up a semi-final meeting with Price. Bruce managed to take one game but ultimately Price won through to secure his place in the final.
In the bottom half of the draw, Jaco Di Lu continued his winning ways until he met fourth seed Oliver Cornish in the quarter-final. At the same stage, second seed Felix Thomis got the better of eighth seed Harry Yip and then Thomis defeated Cornish over four games in the semi-final. The final was a tremendous ding-dong battle with games alternating but eventually it was Berkshire’s Thomis who won the title defeating top seed Louis Price 11-7, 9-11, 14-12, 9-11, 11-8.
In the Cadet Girls’ event, all four seeds made it comfortably through their groups as did the top ranked players in two of the other groups. However, Felicia Lee from Hong Kong, unranked in England, gave notice that she could be a force to be reckoned with by winning group 7. Into the knock-out stage, however, despite beating Jyothi Ghanta in round 1, Lee was forced out of the competition by second seed Raquel Sao Pedro in the quarter-final. One of Lee’s victims in the groups, Angharad Beman, fared better, beating fourth seed Lauren Loosemore and then Scarlett O’Neill to set up a meeting with top seed Lara Whitton in the semi-final. The other semi-final was between Sao Pedro and third seed Samadhi Udamulla and those results saw the final being contested between the top two seeds, Whitton and Sao Pedro. Sao Pedro took the second game in the final but that was to no avail as the Welsh number five ranked woman, Lara Whitton, took the title.
On Sunday it was the turn of the older, junior, competitors although many of the cadets stayed for the second day. In the boys’ competition, all eight seeded players made it through their groups in top place and seven of them took their allotted places in the quarter-finals. The one that missed out was sixth seed Oliver Cornish, beaten by John Strang in round two.
The seedings nearly ran true to form in the quarters as top seed Louis Price defeated Strang, second seed Robert Pelc beat fifth seed William Poulter and fourth seed Joshua Bruce put paid to eighth seed Thevian Loganathan. It was Saturday’s star, Felix Thomis, who once again upset the form book by beating third seed Jacob Evans but then, in a reversal of the previous day’s final result, Louis Price powered past Thomis in the semi-final. Pelc won a storming five-game battle with Bruce in his semi and then top seed Price made up for his disappointment of twenty-four hours earlier by winning the final in four games.
Felicia Lee was at it again in the junior girls’ event, upsetting third seed Federica Bonato in the group stage. However, the other three of the four seeds made it though although none did so with the degree of comfort they would have liked. The four group winners then all qualified for the semi-finals but, at that stage, top ranked Tiana Dennison lost out to Berkshire’s Anaya Patel. Lee was no match for Lara Whitton and so the final was set between the previous day’s cadet champion, Welsh girl Whitton, and the more local Patel. In the end it was Patel who finished the stronger and took the title 3-1.
Many thanks to all the people who worked hard to make this tournament a success. Referee Steve Smith, Organiser Mike Atkinson, Entries Secretary Ken Phillips, Press & Photography Graham Trimming plus Julia and Steve Piercey and Keith Hall. Thanks also to the wonderful army of blue-coated umpires who supported the event so well.