PH table tennis bet splits first 2 games, faces tougher road ahead in YOG
BUENOS AIRES—Jann Mari Nayre missed an trouble-free chance to book a trip in the crucial stages of the 2018 Youth Olympic Games table tennis competitions.
The downer came for the country’s table tennis ace when he surprisingly lost to Maciej Kolodziejcyzk of Austria, 9-11, 8-11, 1-11, 6-11 later in the Group B men’s preliminary play.
“I know the level of competition that I’m going to face here. I shouldn’t lose hope in order to achieve my goal,” said the 18-year-old who hardly made his presence felt in the Southeast Asian Games in Kuala Lumpur last year and in the recent Asian Games in Jakarta.
Nayre first pulled off a demolition job on the higher-ranked Nicolas Burgos of Chile, 11-9, 6-11, 11-9, 11-6, 11-8, but couldn’t stand against Kolodziejczyk in a in a span of seven hours held at the Table Tennis Arena of the Technopolis.
The split has forced the first Filipino paddler in the YOG to do better in the next round where Nayre faces Rio Olympian and world No. 1 under-18 junior table netter Kanak Jha of the United States late Tuesday.
“It really gets tougher in the succeeding rounds. I’ll try the best I can not to be eliminated early,” said Nayre, a right-hander who attended high school at San Beda University in Taytay, Rizal.
No. 431 in the world, Nayre immediately zeroed in on the weak backhand of the world U18 no. 27-ranked Burgos after he gave up the second set on a flurry of errors.
The Filipino quickly recovered his bearings in the next three frames and dealt the Chilean with deathly blows while he aggressively pressed on the offensive.
As Nayre wraps up his elimination stint against Jha, Filipino-Norwegian Christian Tio begins the journey to the podium on the same day in the kiteboarding competitions at the Club Nautico San Isidro which will host the event for five days.
On Wednesday, golfers Yuka Saso, a double-gold medalist in the Asian Games, and Carl Jano Corpus open their medal bid in the women’s and men’s individual stroke play at the wind-swept Hurlingham Club.
It will actually be the busiest day for the seven-athlete contingent as fencer Lawrence Everett Tan and swimmer Nicole Oliva make their debut.
Tan is scheduled to play in the men’s foil while the United States-based Oliva, who is entered in four events, will swim in the heats of the women’s 100-meter freestyle at the Olympic Park pool.
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