TeamUSA Youth Capture Multiple Podium Successes in Sweden

By Matt Hetherington | Feb. 25, 2018, 1:19 p.m. (ET)

A large contingent from Table Tennis Team USA descended upon Sweden to compete in two high caliber international competitions - the 2018 ITTF Swedish Cadet and Junior Open and the Safir International Open. 10 players would represent the USA proudly, accompanied by Team USA Coaches Pieke Franssen and Qi Wei. 

The team would compete superbly, with a handful of impressive results in the many events on offer. Most notable was the victory of Swathi Giri in the Mini Cadet Girls Singles event for the Cadet and Junior Open. She successfully advanced from the group stage and then fought through a tough draw, starting in the last 16. She overcame Pugovkina of Russia 3-0 before accounting for Sophie Earley of Ireland, showing outstanding resolve to come back from 2-1 down and win in 5. 

The semifinals would see that same attitude come through as she trailed 2-1 again, this time against Annett Kaufman of Germany. Giri stepped it up to come back and win in 5 again, heading on to the final. In the final she would win 3-1 over Hana Goda of Egypt, successfully winning the event. A stellar performance and impressive fighting spirit.

Aziz Zarehbin performed outstandingly to claim bronze in the Mini Cadet Boys Singles. He took down Burkreev of Russia in the last 16 in four games, before an dominant straight games win over Johnsson on his home ground in Sweden to reach the semifinals. Aziz's victor was Camara of Netherlands who defeated him 3-1 and was the eventual winner in the following final round. 

All in all the USA would capture 6 medals in across the events, a brilliant performance from the team. 

Tiffany Ke took gold in the Cadet Girls B Singles, beating USA's Emily Tan in the final who took away a silver. Ke also claimed bronze in the Safir International Under 14 Girls Singles. 

Mudit Mahajan brought home a bronze in the Cadet Boys B singles, while Victor Liu emerged successful in one of the most difficult events, winning bronze in the Safir International Under 18 Boys Singles Event, finishing ahead of players from Japan, Germany, Sweden and Singapore. 

The TeamUSA coaches were pleased with the performance from the team, US Coach Pieke Franssen had this to say:

"It was a very valuable trip overseas for the TTTeamUSA members with pretty good results. We won six medals in the different events, but more importantly we gained a lot of experience in competing against different playing styles. All the kids still have a lot of room for improvement and need more international exposure." Team USA Coach Pieke Franssen.

You can find full results from the tournament in the link below and also a summary of the player performances: View Full Restults Here

Nikhil Kumar – Junior Boys Singles + Doubles last 16, Safir U18 Safir International Boys Singles last 16
Victor Liu – Junior Boys singles + doubles last 16, Under 21 Men's Singles last 16, U18 Safir International Boys Singles Bronze
Emily Tan – Junior Girls Singles B QF, Mini Cadet girls QF, Cadet B Singles Silver
Mudit Mahajan – Cadet B Singles Bronze
Tiffany Ke – Cadet B Singles Gold, Safir U16 Girls Singles QF, Safir U14 Girls Singles Bronze
Aziz Zarehbin – Safir U14 Boys Singles Bronze, Mini Cadet Singles Bronze
Angie Tan – Safir U14 Girls Singles QF, Cadet Girls Singles Last 16
Kai Zarehbin – Safir U16 Boys Singles Last 16
Swathi Giri – Mini Cadet Girls Singles Gold, Cadet Girls Singles Last 16