commitment . determination . success
Hongtao Chen Conquers Silver in Hungary

Tata, Hungary. November 11. 2012 The Canadian Junior Boys and a 'partial' Junior Girls team competed in Tata, Hungary in the Hungarian Junior Open, a Premium ITTF Junior Circuit event. Going into the competition, both Hongtao Chen and Anqi Luo wanted to use this opportunity to qualify for the ITTF Junior Circuit Finals in Guatemala City in January 2013.

The Canadian team's hopes for a medal quickly rested on Canada's #1 Junior Hongtao Chen. Anqi Luo won her Round Robin qualification group with a series of good wins but lost in Round 1 of the main draw to Germany's Chantal Mantz in 5 games. Despite this loss Luo earned enough points to overtake American Ariel Hsing in the standings and secured herself a spot in the finals in January.

Hongtao Chen started in the main draw against Alexandru Manole of Romania with a convincing 4-1 win. In round 2, Hungarian Bence Majoros had to acknowledge the Caandian's superiority by the same score. After disposing of another Hungarian Junior player, Marton Szita, the Canadian would face his first real challenge, German Junior Marc Rode.

The tall 17 year old 'lefty' member of the powerful German Junior team posed a challenge to Canada's top hope. Hongtao secured and early 3-1 lead only to see the German pull even, winning game 5 (11-7) and game 6 (11-9). The decisive game 7, however, showed the Canadian in control and advance by a score of 11-7 to the quarter finals.

No easy task would wait for the Canadian in the quarters - Frenchman Mehdi Bouloussa who had just ousted Hungary's top man Tamas Lakatos. The match between the Canadian and the Frenchman featured some spectacular exchanges and some tense moments. Bouloussa kept the match open until 2-2 but then Hongtao took control winning game 5 11-3 and taking an 8-3 lead in game 6. One more tense moment for the Canadian at 8-7, then 11-8 and a place in the finals.

Number 1 seed Chia-Sheng Lee from Chinese Taipei, who had caused the Canadian trouble at the Scotiabank Canadian Open last month in Markham, Ontario, would prove too difficult a problem to solve. While the games remained close, Lee had the upper hand through most of the match and secured the Hungarian Junior Open title for himself winning by a score of 4-1 (14-12, 11-8, 8-11, 11-8, 11-6).

For Coach Yongjun Duan and the Canadian Junior Boys team the competition provided a valuable opportunity to measure themselves against strong European and Asian opposition. For coach Junya Chen and the two Canadian junior girls entries Anqi Luo and Michelle Liaw the gap between them and the best juniors appears greater. While not an unqualified success, the win over Sweden in the Junior Boys team competition and, of course, Hongtao Chen's Silver finish provided highlights and confirmation of a new junior generation that is internationally competitive.

Canadian Junior Boys Success Over Sweden
After coming off a fist pumping win over Belarus, the Canadian Junior Boys completed their group stage with a win over Sweden.  Chen Hongtao and Jimmy Pintea played well to take the first two matches in the series, defeating Jonas Stener and Simon Berglund of Sweden.  Mathieu Theriault fought hard against Elias Ranefur, but came out with 3 narrow-margin losses.   Chen Hongtao then faced Simon Berglund, and won 3-1.

With the Stage 1 success, Canada will start Stage 2 (a knock-out stage) facing Hungary B.   Hungary B was very strong in the first stage, and did not lose a single game to their opponents Iran and Spain.  The winner of Canada vs Hungary B will play the Czech Republic in the Boys Team quarterfinals.

For detailed results please visit the ITTF Event Page.

First Stage Match a Clean Sweep for CAN Junior Boys

In Tata, from November 8th-11th, the JOOLA Hungarian Junior Open is taking place.  The Canadian Junior Boys represented by Chen Hongtao, Jimmy Pintea, and Mathieu Theriault, were very composed in their first round match against Belarus, winning 3-0.

For detailed results please visit the ITTF Event Page.