Tremendous success for Truls MOREGARD at the World Junior ChampionshipsPhoto: Rémy Gros ITTF
Silver medalist at the European Youth Championships in the Cadet Boy’s Singles Event for a two years in the row, Sweden`s rising star, 15-year-old Truls MOREGARD justified his status on a higher level by winning silver at the 2017 ITTF World Junior Championships in Riva del Garda, Italy last week. His tremendous run was halted on a final hurdle, in the final against no. 1 seed China`s XUE Fei.
MOREGARD had a good warm up before the Championships. Swede is the youngest ever Table Tennis Champions League participant. He was just 14-year-old when he debuted for Sweden`s club Eslovs Ai Bordtennis. Six weeks ago he recorded his very first TTCLM win against Chartres` Romain LORENTZ.
“Before the tournament it felt good in practice and in Champions league so I knew if I would play as good as I did there I could beat very good players!” explained Truls.
In Italy, he was required to play the qualification stage to reach the main draw.
“The qualification helped me a lot with the draw because I played more matches before the toughest duels” said Truls who beat Andres MARTINEZ of Chile and Leandro FUENTES of Argentina in straight games in the Group stage.
It proved right, because from the early stage of the main draw Truls faced great challenge. He was stretched to full distance by France`s Leo DE NORDEST.
“The first round against Leo was very tough! I was nervous and didn’t play so good. At the end I was very happy to win that match!”
Next in line was American player Kanak JHA, followed by Japan’s Yuto KIZUKURI, the no.2 seed: “Kanak was very tough because he played very safe but I had good tactics in the end. Against KIZUKURI I had an unbelievable match and everything was good.”
Success gave him more power, so he exploded against China’s XU Haidong. He beat him in straight games: “Xu was not so tough because I played good and had good tactics again. He didn’t play so strong.”
In semis, it was time for another notable name to leave the arena defeated. NIU Guankai, the no.3 seed stretched Truls to full seven games before Swede succeeded to the final: “Niu was very good. He played so safe and had a lot quality in his game. But I played really well!”
Against the top seeded XUE Fei Truls showed no fear. “XU was too good this time. He responded to my service game very good and then it was big problem for me. But if I could take first or second game it would be an another match.”
There will not be a lot of time for rest for Truls before holidays.
“ I have three League matches, before Christmas,” said MOREGARD.