End of an Era at Chelsea Academy
Table Tennis Finals: London Academy Take 7 TitlesJon Kaufmann – 21st July 2017
In the weekend starting 10th June, seven players from London Academy set out to be the best; winning a total of 7 titles in The Jack Petchey Schools Table Tennis Finals and the London Youth Games. On Saturday 10th June, the team competed in singles events of Under 13 boys, Under 16 boys, Under 16 girls, Under 19 boys and Under 19 girls (all in which they also took titles in the North London Schools qualifiers prior to this).
In the Under 13 boys, Dennis Lim (aged 13) came 3rd in group B, he lost 2 matches, and took his first win of the day. Mihnea Dascalu comfortably won two matches, but lost his last match in group D, putting him in 3rd place in the group. Yacine Boubekeur cruised through his group, taking wins in all 3 matches in his group. Yacine’s amazing performance showed his confidence and determination to win.
In the plate event, Mihnea Dascalu beat a confident player in the semi-final, advancing to the final (where it was an all-London Academy clash With Dennis Lim as his opponent). Lim, who took a 1-0 lead, couldn’t hold off Dascalu’s fighting Energy and had to settle for 2nd place in the Under 13 boys plate event. In the main event, Yacine Boubekeur fought his way to the final, where he faced the top seed. It was a tough match for Boubekeur, who took 2nd place.
In the Under 16 boys, Mojtaba Adel reached the semi-final stage. Patricia Ianau was the clear winner of the Under 16 girls, defeating everyone in her path 3-0.
“I feel happy with my achievement today and I hope that I keep succeeding in the future.”, says Ianau, after being presented with the first place trophy.
In the Under 19 boys, Valerio Bucci’s first match was very eye-catching. Both players were fighting and in the end, it was Valerio’s opponent who just managed to overcome the talented 13-year-old. Bucci went through his group as 2nd place, beating his 2nd opponent (where he impressively won 11-0 in one set). Bucci’s winning streak came to an end in the semi-final. Natalia Ianau had a nail-biting match in the final of the Under 19 girls, where she just lost the first place title by 2 points. Although it was an upsetting loss for Ianau, she took the silver medal.
On Sunday 11th June, the team were off to compete in the London Youth Games; this is where all the boroughs in London battle out in teams of two to reveal the best of the best. In every round, two singles matches and one doubles match are played. London Academy went on to represent the Borough of Barnet.
The boys team consisting of Mojtaba Adel, Valerio Bucci, Yacine Boubekeur, Mihnea Dascalu and Dennis Lim took turns as Player 1 Player 2, and doubles Players 1 and 2 in each round. The Barnet boys won all 5 rounds in the group stage, and proceeded to the semi-final (where they maintained their success). In the final, the boys faced a challenging team from Croydon. Mojtaba Adel was to play the opening game of the match, his opponent being a higher ranked player. Nonetheless, Adel worked hard and played a very entertaining match. Unfortunately, the end result was a loss. Valerio Bucci was the second to play, also losing a very close match. Overall, the skilled team from Barnet have done their borough proud, being the holders of the second place title.
For the Barnet girls, there was no turn-taking and 14-year-old twins Natalia and Patricia Ianau brought home the first-place trophy. It was clear from the beginning that they were hungry to win; the Ianau’s defeated every team 3-0.
Every player performed with determination and hunger, showing the rest of London how it’s done, congratulations to the London Academy superstars!