Helshan Weerasinghe

England trio reach main draw at World Juniors

Author:
Paul Stimpson

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Helshan Weerasinghe and Tin-Tin Ho have topped their qualifying groups at the World Junior Championships in France.

Helshan won all three of his matches for the loss of only one set,and included an impressive 4-0 triumph over Russia’s Nikita Yarushin, ranked eight places above Helshan at No 64 in the world under-18 rankings.

“I won 4-0 but it was harder than the score line might suggest,” Helshan told the ITTF website. “He’s left handed, I served short to his forehand, he tried to return with the backhand and he made mistakes.

“It’s the first time that I’ve played against him but I was well prepared; I tried to give him no time for him to play powerfully. I felt good with service and first attack as well as the rallies.”

Tin-Tin, in a group of three, won both of her matches. However, she was pushed all the way by Hungary’s Leonie Hartbrich, seeing her opponent come from 2-0 down to lead 3-2 before the Paddington teenager recovered to win it 4-3.

Maria Tsaptsinos, also in a group of three, lost to group winner Leticia Nakada of Brazil but bounced back to win her second match and go through to the main draw as group runner-up.

Boys’ Singles
Qualifying Group 21
Helshan Weerasinghe bt Victor Ma (NZL) 4-1 (11-6, 5-11, 11-6, 11-8, 11-3)
Weerasinghe bt Nikita Yarushin (RUS) 4-0 (11-6, 11-9, 11-7, 11-7)
Weerasinghe bt Santiago Tolosa (ARG) 4-0 (11-5, 11-6, 11-8, 11-7)

Girls’ Singles
Qualifying Group 4
Leticia Nakada (BRA) bt Maria Tsaptsinos 4-1 (8-11, 11-9, 11-7, 11-9, 11-6)
Tsaptsinos bt Grace Yang (USA) 4-0 (12-10, 11-6, 11-9, 11-5)

Group 6 
Tin-Tin Ho bt Amira Yousry (EGY) 4-0 (11-8, 11-3, 11-7, 11-9)
Ho bt Leonie Hartbrich (HUN) 4-3 (11-6, 12-10, 7-11, 11-13, 9-11, 11-9, 11-7)

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