ITTF WORLD JNR CHAMPIONSHIPS
Nigeria’s boys’ team gained one spot lift in ranking while the girls dropped two places as Japan dethroned China as champions of the Team Event of the ITTF World Junior Championship holding in Cape Town, South Africa.
Prior to the competition, Nigerian’s boys’ team was ranked 18 but with the classification victory over New Zealand at the weekend, they gained one place in the ranking to move to 17th in the world junior team ratings.
However, the girls’ team failed to improve on their rating after losing 2-3 to Australia to drop to 18 from the previous 16th place they were before the championship.
Meanwhile, Japan won both the junior boys’ and girls’ teams titles to prevent China’s dominance at the championship. The feat performed by the Japanese has never been achieved by any other country except China. Clearly, the year 2016 has been dominated by Japan.
In an exciting final for the girls’ team title, a decorated Japanese trio of Rio 2016 Olympic Team Bronze medalist Mima Ito, 2016 Women’s World Cup Champion Miu Hirano and 2016 ITTF World Tour Australian Open Champion Hina Hayata ended China’s dream of retaining their hard-earned title from 2015 with a 3-1 victory against the Chinese lineup of Shi Xunyao, Liu Weishan and Sun Yizhen.
In the boys’ team final, the Japanese repeated the feat achieved by their compatriots by beating Korea Republic to the crown.
The Koreans were the star of the semifinals stage, defeating the defending China. They denied the Chinese tickets to the final for the first time in the World Junior Championships’ 14-year history.