USA’s Lily Zhang Dominates Junior Play at the 2011 North American Championships
Mississauga, Canada – 14-year-old Lily Zhang of Palo Alto, California compiled a perfect score in the junior events at the 2011 North American Table Tennis Championships held on April 1-3 outside of Toronto. In addition to winning the Cadet Girls (under 15) and Junior Girls (under 18), Lily led the US Cadet and Junior teams to impressive victories over Canada.
Lily’s cadet title earned her a slot at the Pan Am Qualifications for the ITTF Challenge Cup and her Junior Girls Team title along with Ariel Hsing and Erica Wu qualified Team USA for the World Junior Championships.
In ten best of five or best of seven matches in the junior ranks, Lily went an astonishing 34-2 in games played among the best girls in North America in securing four major titles. Lily currently holds the #3 World Ranking for Cadet Girls and is only down one spot from the #2 ranking she posted in January.
In the finals of the Junior Girls Singles, Lily beat teammate Ariel Hsing in an exciting 4-2 match, a reversal of the semi-finals of the Women’s World Cup Qualifier (North American Cup) that took place the day before. On the final day of competition Lily and Ariel met for a third and final time in the semi-finals of the North American Singles Championship. Both players fought extremely hard with the younger Lily seizing the opportunity to gain a spot in the finals with a 4-2 match victory.
A member of the 2011 World and Pan Am Team, Lily’s amazing run of matches came to an end at the hands of experienced Canadian Olympian Zhang Mo in the finals 4-2 of the North American Singles Championships.
Women’s National Team coach Doru Gheorghe added after the event, “I am very proud of the way our athletes played and fought. We have a great team of athletes and great National team coaches to lead them. We still have a lot of work ahead and we need more international events but I am looking forward to 2011 Pan Am Games and 2012 Olympic Trials.”
Lily and her teammates will participate in the French Junior Open in Metz followed by a training camp in Luxembourg at the end of the month in preparation for the 2011 World Table Tennis Championships in Rotterdam.