European Olympic Singles Qualification | 24 Apr 2021

Double joy for France as YUAN and PAVADE booked their places at the Olympics

Photo: Rita TABORDA, courtesy PTTA

After three days of intense action in Portugal, the names of two players to emerge successful in the Women's Event at the European Olympic Singles Qualification Tournament in Guimarães were known. At the end of the first part of the qualification France has a reason for a double joy. Prithika PAVADE and YUAN Jia Nan secured their place at the Tokyo Olympics.

After all the drama of the quarterfinals day earlier, the first semi final of the Women's Singles event was a comparatively quiet affair. Despite very brave efforts from Yana NOSKOVA to halt Prithika PAVADE'S progress, French youngster will play at her first ever Olympics (5, 7, 12, -9, 6) in Tokyo. The master of disguise PAVADE controlled the game by giving no option for her adversary to see where the next stroke will go. She played very aggressive from the very beginning.

“NOSKOVA is very aggressive player. I played against her two or three times in French League and she was always better, but here is the different atmosphere. My previous experience helped me to prepare well. She tried to slow down the game and succeeded with that in the fourth game, but I knew how to regain the control,” said PAVADE.

Prithika is only 16 years old and in Tokyo she will play at her first Olympics.

“I never thought I will be at the Olympic tournament in Japan. I hoped it will happen in Paris 2024. Honestly, I did not dare to dream I will be at this qualifications at first place. I am so grateful that my Federation gave me the chance to compete here. I thought some senior player will be on duty in Guimaraes, but here I am,” said PAVADE.

For YUAN, Tokyo will also be the first Olympic tournament. She represents France from 2019 and now she made a chance to do it at the Olympics in Tokyo. In the semi final she beat the host nation ace SHAO Jeni (-7, 8, -7, 5, 5, 8).

“Until the very last point I did not think I will qualify. I did not dare. SHAO is very dangerous. There was not a moment in the match when I realised I can win. In all seven matches, I have played here, I was only thinking about the next point,” explained YUAN, who admitted she will celebrate the great win with a glass of champagne.

The tournament continues in the afternoon with six matches in Round of 32 and another round later tonight in Round 16.


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