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Juniors Smash Their Way to Victory

By Filipe

Never let it be said that a junior tournament is a boring affair. What with the Mahtole brothers serving and smashing all opponents into next week, Danisha and Gila fighting the Academy girls to the very edge of endurance and Cody Meyer showing his superiority as master of the table, yes indeed, the GCTTA Junior Tournament that was held on the 18 August 2007 was nothing if not exhilarating. And the participation by the Academy Juniors under the watchful guidance of the National Coach, added an extra dimension to the tournament as a whole.

The tournament was also the testing ground for a newly obtained piece of tournament software.

As statistics go, the tournament was attended by 91 Juniors from as far a field as Soweto, Khatlehong and Tshwane – including Filidelfia School for the disabled who sent a contingency of 14 players.

To the above, 39 girls participated in the tournament adding much needed diversity to an otherwise male contingency.

The day kicked off with the Battle of the little ones. In the boys section, the Mahtole brothers (GN) were the masters of the game as they forced a family laden final berth playoff; much to the delight of the ever-watchful proud father. They went on to achieved this feat in the boys under-twelve singles, boys under-fourteen singles and boys under-fourteen doubles events. The girls event provided the first surprise of the day which occurred when little Kajal Itchu (Lens) out played Chavah (GC) in the final of the girls under-twelve event. In the under-fourteen girls singles, Khanyisile (HPC) edged out Lareen (GC) to claim top spot in a closely fought final.

In the under-seventeen girls events, Zodwa (HPC) stepped away victorious, outplaying Patricia (HPC) in a decisive way. Danisha (lens) was edged out of a berth in the finals by Stephany (HPC) in a four game match. In the boys under-seventeen finals, Cody (HPC,) who until then was master of the table, was narrowly beaten by a fired-up Itumeleng (HPC) in a tight five setter; the winning point coming off an edge-ball. The scores were 11/9, 10/12, 11/9, 6/11, 12/10.

The under-twenties delivered much in the way of fireworks. In the girls, Patricia fought off a determined Danisha in a tough 5 setter which went to 15/13 in the fifth game. In the final, it took Zodwa five games to oust Patricia into Silver: 9/11, 6/11, 11/6, 14/12, 11/5. The boys event was more of a drawn out affair. In the quarters, Chetan deposed Itu in five tight games. In the semis, Cody ousted Sabu (HPC) in four while Lloyd outplayed Chetan in three games: 11/8, 17/15, 11/8. The final was a bit of an anti-climax when Cody smashed Lloyd 11/6, 11/6, 11/7.

All in all, it was an exhilarating tournament.

A note of thanks to the Gauteng Department of Sport, City of Joburg and GTTB is a must at this point, for without their kind assistance, the tournament would not have taken place.

Word has it that the next tournament will include a team event.



  U/12 U/14 U/14 Doubles U/17 U/20 U/20 Doubles
Bronze Meenal Manga Letshego Seleke Louw/Barit C Gila Barrit Stephany Martin Louw/Maikula
Bronze Pontsho Matsagopane Vanessa Mnguni Itchu/Manga Danisha Patel Gila Barrit Sayed/Sayed
Silver Chavah Barrit Lareen Louw Molefe/Maake Patricia Mazibuko Patricia Mazibuko Martin/Patel
Gold Kajal Itchu Khanyisile Madlala Seleke/Madlala Zodwa Maphanga Zodwa Maphanga Maphanga/Mazibuko


  U/12 U/14 U/14 Doubles U/17 U/20 U/20 Doubles
Bronze Baldwin Kotelo Malvin Mahloare Matsemela/Makgoale Sabu Mazwi Sabu Mazwi Mawjee/Reddy T
Bronze Himal Nathoo Balwin Kotelo Nathoo/Rowjee Lloyd Reddy Chetan Nathoo Itchu/Dindayal
Silver Terrence Mathole Samual Mathole Mahloare/Kotelo Cody Meyer Lloyd Reddy Meyer/Mazwi
Gold Samuel Mathole Terrence Mathole Mathole/Mathole Itu Molahloe Cody Meyer Malahloe/Reddy L