Sophie Barcsai

Brilliant bronze for Barcsai

Paul Stimpson

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Nine-year-old Sophie Barcsai brilliantly defeated the top seed and team gold medallist Gaetane Bled of France as she claimed a bronze medal at the Hungarian Mini-Cadet Open.

Representing Bournemouth TTC and England in the Under-11 singles, Barcsai got through her group with three wins from three, defeating Sofia Kapilova of Belarus 3-0 and Elena Schinko (Austria) and Denisa Cotruta (Germany) both 3-1.

In the last 16, Barcsai overcame Josephina Neumann of Germany 3-0 (13-11, 11-9, 11-2), so set up a quarter-final against Bled.

And Barcsai pulled off a superb performance to win 3-2 (10-12, 11-4, 11-8, 5-11, 11-9) against an opponent who had blitzed her previous matches for the loss of a handful of points and who was part of the France line-up which won team gold.

Barcsai’s run ended in the semi-finals as she was defeated 3-2 (8-11, 10-12, 11-8, 11-2, 11-3) by Faustyna Stefanska of Germany, who went on to win gold.

In the team event, Barcsai played alongside Ivett Szerbacsics of Hungary but the girls were unable to make it into the main draw as they were defeated 3-2 by a Romanian team, 3-0 by a German pair and 3-1 by another German combination – He TTV II – despite Barcsai beating Hannah Kriebbach 3-2 (11-13, 11-3, 8-11, 11-2, 11-6) to make it 1-1 in the final match. She also won one of her singles matches against the Romanian team.

The girls made it through to the final of the consolation event – effectively a play-off for 17th and 18th positions, where they were beaten by the same He TTV II line-up.

Joseph Hunter, representing Urban TTC and England in the Under-13 boys, finished second in his group thanks to 3-1 wins over both Tamas Kajcsa of Hungary and Rafael Russo of France. He was narrowly beaten 3-2 by Hungary’s Balazs Voros in the other group match.

In the last 32, he beat Wei Chen Yu of Hungary 3-2 (4-11, 11-5, 11-7, 8-11, 11-8) and then advanced to the quarter-finals with a 3-1 (8-11, 13-11, 11-8, 12-10) victory over Maximilian Breher of Germany.

His run ended in the quarters, where he was defeated 3-1 (11-5, 6-11, 11-5, 11-6) by David Szantosi of the host nation.

Charlie Nabarro, also of Urban TTC, finished third in his group, registering a 3-0 (11-4, 11-9, 11-8) victory over Peter Bota of Hungary. Nabarro then won his last-16 match in the consolation event, defeating Johannes Gronborg of Denmark 3-0 (12-10, 11-4, 13-11). He was defeated in the quarter-finals by Eduard Simonian of Bulgaria, who won 3-2 (7-11, 7-11, 11-4, 11-8, 11-9).


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