Givan in Top Form at ITTF Junior Circuit

Ashley Givan

A team of Ireland’s top Junior and Cadet players are in Sweden this week to take part in the ITTF Junior Circuit at the prestigious Swedish Open. The team will also participate in the Saffir International Open. The event began yesterday(Wednesday 22nd Feb) and the team already recorded some impressive results, with Ashley Givan leading the way.

Givan recorded some big wins in the Groups Stage of the Junior Girls, beating both SINGEORZAN of Romania and MEZZAPESA of Luxembourg by 3 sets to 1. She was unlucky against top English Junior Emily Bates, losing by the narrowest of margins in a 5 set thriller. These fine wins meant that Givan progressed to the knock-out stage of the event – a fantastic achievement for the current Irish Junior and Senior Number 1. In the knock-out stage, Givan was drawn against another Romanian, ROSCA. She pushed the Romanian all the way, showing immense character to battle back to 3-3 in sets from a 3-1 deficit, before eventually succumbing in the 7th set. This was a fine performance from Givan who did not look out of place against a player ranked almost 300 places higher than her in the World Junior Rankings. This fine form was also reflected in the Doubles were she was paired with the Hong Kong player YEE KA NG. This newly formed Doubles team progressed all the way to the Quarter Finals, before finally being eliminated by a very strong Russian pair.

Her teammates Katie McGlone and Hannah Lynch Dawson will have their focus firmly on the Cadet events but will have gained valuable experience by playing the older Junior players – Lynch Dawson also recorded a fine victory over Nortwegian DOVA in the Plate event which will be a massive confidence boost as the Cadet event kicks off.

The Boys team of Ryan Farrell and Declan O’Brien were also in action, recording a good win in the Doubles over the Norwegian pair  JORGENSEN & SANDBER before being eliminated in the last 32 by ROBINOT & ANGLE of France. The Singles represented a tough challenge for both players, with Farrell recording the only victory of the Main competition with a fine performance over POLAKOV of Uruguay. Farrell built on this result with some fine performances in the Plate competition, recording wins  over KIRILLOV of Russia and FLAGLIEN of Norway, before being eliminated in the last 16 by the Welsh Junior Conor Edwards.

The Cadet event continues today with the Safir event including the ITTF Hopes Under 12 event taking place over the weekend.

This tournament is being streamed by – best wishes to coach John Murphy and all of the team in Sweden.