Missouri’s Alexander Yao Falls Short in Qualifying for 2010 Youth Olympic Games
Yao, 14, started with a 3-1 advantage in the first match against Thailand’s Tanapol Santiwattanatam, but fell short in giving up the last three matches for a 4-3 loss. In the next round, Yao took down Chris Guttersberger of Fiji in straight games, 4-0. Yao lost a heartbreak set to Australia’s Heming Hu, 4-3, where Yao was up 3-2.
Prior to the Youth Olympic Games qualifying event, Yao also participated in the KVB Kunlun 2010 New Zealand Junior and Cadet Open. In the Cadet boy’s singles division, Yao advanced to the quarterfinals after advancing from his group. During the elimination round, Yao dropped Australia’s Mitchell Ong-Thomson, 3-0. In the quarterfinals, he fell to Hong Kong’s Siu Hang Lam, 3-1.
He also tried his skill and attacks in the Junior boy’s singles, where he again advanced to the quarterfinal round. He opened it up with a 4-0 victory over New Zealand’s Oliver Scarlett, and then dropped a 4-1 decision to Kevin Wu of New Zealand.
Yao, who paired up with Filip Ilijevski of Canada for the Cadet boy’s team event, went with a 1-1 record where they defeated New Zealand, 3-0, and lost to Hong Kong, 3-1.
The United States boy’s table tennis team has one more chance of qualifying for the 2010 Youth Olympic Games at the April 24-25 event in Valencia, Venezuela, where Michael Landers (Old Westbury, N.Y.) will represent Team USA. Ariel Hsing (San Jose, Calif.), currently the No. 3 ranked player in the World for under-15 girls, will represent the United States at the 2010 Youth Olympic Games.
The United States can qualify one boy and one girl to compete at the 2010 Youth Olympic Games in Singapore, Aug. 14-26. Table tennis will be one of 26 events contested at the inaugural multi-sport youth event. The international event will attract at least 5,000 athletes and officials from the 205 National Olympic Committees. The table tennis athletes will be between the ages of 15 and 16. The Singapore 2010 Youth Olympic Games aims to inspire youth around the world to embrace, embody and express the Olympic values of excellence, friendship and respect.
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