US Cadet Girl Crowned Junior Champion in Coquimbo

Courtesy of

By: Marius Widmer, ITTF Media Coordinator
The winner of the 2009 STAG Panam Junior Championships is Ariel Hsing of the United States of America.

The reigning North American Junior Champion overcame her compatriot, team-mate and friend Lily Zhang in six games in the crucial match for the title.

Lily Zhang for her part finished second with only one loss and Angela Mori of Peru won the bronze medal.

Nerve Wrecking
Once again Ariel Hsing beat Zhang and finished ahead of her compatriot. However, Lily Zhang was equal and had her chances to remain the only unbeaten girl in the event, because Ariel Hsing has lost one match at the STAG Panam Junior Championships against Brazils Karin Fukushima.

Hsing said about the match against Lily Zhang: It was nerve wrecking. I knew I had to play my best to win. I could play a bit better and smarter but overall I am confident.

The satisfaction after winning a tough and long event was clearly visible. Im happy, really, really happy to defend my title, the 2008 and 2009 Panam Junior champion said. One day I hope to win a title on a world level.

Youth Olympic Games Qualification
Hsings next goal is the Cadet Challenge in Tokyo from 20th to 25th October. If she finishes among the top four, she will surely be at the 2010 inaugural Youth Olympic Games in Singapore. First I wanna recover from this event, but then Ill practice again; Im gonna try hard.

The events in Coquimbo, first the Chile Junior and Cadet Open on the ITTF Junior Circuit and then the 2009 STAG Panam Junior Championships, may help her to make a good result. I learned to calm down, learned some small skills, how to serve in close situations. The seven days in Coquimbo were tough, mentally and physically. It was difficult for both. Sometimes you have lots of matches and you feel tired; but also for the head when there are many close matches.

The Youngest Prevail
It is remarkable that the two youngest players, both are currently 13 years old, prevailed against opponents up to 18 years. No doubt, the two US youngsters are the measure of all things in Pan-America and the future of the US table tennis.

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