Ireland’s Owen Cathcart prevented a French double at the Swedish Junior and Cadet, world junior circuit table tennis championships.
After Prithika Pavade gave the French the girl’s single title, Cathcart put a damper on the French revolution by stopping top seed Dorian Zheng in the boy’s singles final.
The Irish lad, seeded joint fifth, showed resilience as he beat Zheng 11-8, 11-8, 9-11, 13-11, 8-11, 11-9 for the crown. Enroute to the title Cathcart had also accounted for joint fifth seed Angel Naranjo of Puerto Rico and third seeded Singaporean Izaac Quek Yong.
Cathcart, who plays in Sweden for Halmstad in the second division of the national league back home, last win came in 2017 when he bagged the cadet boys’ singles titles in Serbia and Slovenia.
“Yes, it was unexpected. I’m moving faster at the table and the final was my best performance during the day. The reason I won was because I was more aggressive and played strongly with my forehand topspin. My big goal this season is of course the European Youth Championships this summer in Zagreb,” said Cathcart.
Prithika added the Swedish Junior title to the cadet titles she at the same tournament in 2018.
The top seed defeated Singapore’s Ser Lin Qian, the 12th seed 11-7, 11-5, 11-6, 11-4. Earlier in the semi-finals, Prithika had ended the progress of Japan’s Miwa Harimoto.
Prithika’s win ended the 27 match winning streak of the 11-year-old Japanese that had started Czech Junior and Cadet Open.
“I played very well. In the two years between the victory in the cadet class and today, most in my game I have improved my service. I now have good serves, I have a quick backhand and I can put a lot of spin on my first attack on forehand,” said Prithika.
Meanwhile, in the junior boys’ doubles, Russia’s Rusian Cherekes-Maksim Kaburkin defeated Mikhail Tsyhanouski-Jacob Vahnish 11-3, 4-11, 11-4, 12-10 to take home the crown.
In the junior girls’ doubles Japan’s Sachi Aoki-Miwa Harimoto claimed the title with a 11-7, 11-5, 14-16, 11-8 win over Liubov Tentser-Vlada Voronina .