Alberta Claims the Table Tennis Gold Medal in Girls Team Event

In a match worthy of awarding a gold medal, Alberta defeated Quebec 3-1 in a thrilling final.  The first match was Alberta’s Roxana Pao against Quebec’s Li Quan Ly.  Roxana pulled out a tightly contested match 3-1 by the scores of 11-9, 8-11, 11-9 and 11-8. 

In the second match, Quebec’s Annie Coulombe got off to a fast start by winning the first set 11-8 against Alberta’s Yubo Zhang.  Zhang rebounded to win the next 3 sets by the score 11-7, 11-9 and 11-8 to put Alberta up 2-0 in the team match.  Next up is doubles and Alberta is looking for a sweep but Quebec is not willing to go down without a fight. 

Quebec starts off strong and wins the first 2 sets 12-10 and 11-6 but Alberta battles back to win the next 11-8.  In the 4th set, Quebec secures the match by winning the set 11-8.  The match now stands 2-1 for Alberta.  The 4th match is Alberta’s Roxana Pao and Quebec’s Catherine Dauplaise.  This back and forth match starts with Pao winning the 1st set 11-4.  The second set sees both girls have set points but Dauplaise pulls it out 15-13.  Roxana takes control of the 3rd set and wins 11-6 to go out 2-1.  Catherine fights back and levels the sets at 2 with a 11-8 win. 

In the 5th and deciding set, Catherine saves 3 gold medal match points but can’t save the 4th as Roxana wins 13-11 in the 5th and claims the gold medal for Alberta.

At the end of the match, coach Li was thrilled and stressed out at the same time “My heart needs a break.”  The girls were thrilled also “At the nationals, we came in third so this is great.  The top 4 provinces (AB, BC, QC and ON) were really close so any of us could have won this.”  Roxana tells the key to her gold medal clinching win “In the 4th set, I was down 9-1, but I just said ignore the score and start to play better.”  She did and Alberta won the gold medal.

In the bronze medal match, British Columbia beat Ontario 3-0.  The match score is misleading though as it was much closer than the score appears.  In the first match, BC’s Shirley Fu defeated Ontario’s Shannon Zhen 3-2 by the scores 9-11, 11-9, 11-7, 9-11 and 11-6.  British Columbia went up 2-0 when Michelle Liaw beat Jiawei Liu 3 straight 11-6, 14-12 and 11-8.  BC secured the bronze medal winning a hard fought doubles match that went to the 5th and deciding set 11-9, 11-5, 7-11, 10-12 and 11-7.  With the loss, Ontario finished 4th.

In the 5/6th placement match, Saskatchewan defeated Manitoba 3-0.  In the 7/8th placement match Nova Scotia beat Nunavut and PEI topped Newfoundland 3-0 in the 9/10th placement match.

Girls’ singles and doubles matches will continue on Friday and the gold and bronze medal matches played on Saturday.

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