Swedish success for Yolanda

Rising table tennis star Yolanda King had a long but successful weekend competing in Sweden.

The 17-year-old from Hastings, who is currently training at the Grantham TT Academy, performed well in the Safir International Championships in Orebro.

King’s greatest success was in reaching the quarter-finals of the junior (under-18) girls’ singles, her main strategy being to ‘get in’ and attack first.

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She beat Swedish player Rebecka Akesson in straight games in the second round and followed that with a closer 14-12, 6-11, 11-6, 15-13 victory over a left-handed Russian, Maria Panarina.

Next King overcame English colleague Maria Tsaptinos (Berkshire) 11-7, 11-8, 6-11, 11-5 before succumbing three straight in the quarter-finals to the world no.49, Li Ching Wan, who went on to win the overall event.

In her women’s singles group, King was comfortably beaten by the top woman Linda Bergstrom, but she had a very narrow triumph 8-11, 7-11, 12-10, 14-12, 14-12 over the second best player, Ilka Doval (Norway).

Although King could beat Henriette Nielson in the rallies, she could not return the tricky serve of the Faroe Islands player and lost 9-11, 11-9, 9-11, 5-11 despite leading 7-1 in the third game.

King, Doval and Nielson finished equal on match wins, but on games count-back, it was Doval who came second in the group and qualified for the knockout stage.

One-time Claremont School pupil King reached the third round of the under-21 women’s singles by virtue of two walkovers, but then lost 7-11, 11-13, 11-7, 8-11 to the Swedish-based Chinese player He Yijie.

See tomorrow’s Hastings Observer for the full article.