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Pietermaritzburg greets Juniors with Open Arms

By Filipe

It seems that all regions have upped their ante given the results achieved at this years SA Junior Inter-regional Championships and Open Tournament in Pietermaritzburg. And the weather played along nicely too.

The Inter-regional Championships, that kicked-off on the 29th June, delivered its usual fare of brilliance and youthful exuberance. The only disappointment of the Inter-regional was the disqualification of a region due to the fielding of overage kids in the boys 17/U event.

The final standings for GCTTA were:

12/U Girls        8th place           Boys    8th place
14/U Girls        3rd place           Boys    9th place
17/U Girls        5th place           Boys    2nd place

Western Province proved the region to beat by claiming four of the six gold medals on offer.

Of the regions on the up-and-up, OR Tambo, Gert Sibande, Umgungundlovu and Border Amatole were the most noteworthy.

The 12/U Gauteng North boys, the Amatholes, cleaned up their age group.

The Open Tournament kicked-off on the 2nd July with the Mixed Doubles and Doubles events. Here, Gila Barrit attained 1 Gold and 1 Silver medal, Danisha Patel won 1 silver medal while Menaal Manga, Kajal Itchu and Cyrese Louw were awarded 1 Bronze medal each.

The Singles events proved to be a watershed for all members of GCTTA - although they fought tenaciously hard, they did not manage to land in the medals. And to throw salt to injury, Shivesh dislocated his shoulder during a titanic match which meant that he could not carry on his saga – it must be mentioned that he bravely finished his match triumphantly after his shoulder was popped back into place.

One notable eventuality of the individual events were the many upsets caused by up-and-coming players during the group stages of the tournament. This variance caused a skewing of the group-knockout schedule which led to a somewhat lacklustre finals on the 5th July – the exception here were the boys 14/U finals where little Terence Mathole fought off his older brother in a tight four setter, and the boys 17/U where Kurt Lingerveld beat off a well motivated Cody Meyer in 4 games (all finals were best of 5 games.)

The final individual medal tally showed WP on 4 Gold, GN on 3 Gold and ORT with 1 Gold medal.

It has been reported that Etekwini (KZN) have applied to host next years SA Junior Nationals.