TOKYO, Aug 5 (Reuters) - China won the Olympic women's team table tennis gold medal on Thursday after a 3-0 victory over Japan in the final, continuing the country's undefeated streak in the event.
The Chinese trio of Chen Meng, Sun Yingsha and Wang Manyu, who were all competing at their first Olympics, hoisted the national flag together with their coach Li Sun after clinching the title.
In the second match, Sun played Japan's Mima Ito, who she beat in their singles semi-final last week.
The 20-year-old paddlers, who have both said they improve every time they play each other, fought a heated battle but the Chinese triumphed 3-1.
World number four Wang crushed Miu Hirano 3-0 in the third match to secure victory for China, who have won all four women's Olympic table tennis team events since it was introduced in 2008.
"To wear this gold medal again -- this happiness feels different from before," said Chen, who also claimed women's singles gold at the Tokyo Games.
"This is a team medal and the meaning is different. It required the three of us to get it and the whole team, the Chinese Table Tennis Association, everybody who has put in effort, everybody who has quietly supported and helped us. I really want to thank them here."
Li said the Japanese players deserve respect as they constantly challenge China.
"Our young players grew so fast because of Japan. Every day we are worrying about Japan. We've been in this process for the last five years," he said.
Japan's Kasumi Ishikawa, who had won a silver and a bronze in the team events at the past two Games, as well as Ito and Hirano were all in smiles after the match.
But the three choked up with tears as reporters asked about playing at home.
"I'm grateful to my team mates and everyone who's supported us," Ishikawa said as she wiped her tears with her hands.
"Winning was my main goal. If I'd won, I would've enjoyed it more," Ito told reporters.
"But I honestly think from the bottom of my heart that I practised more than any other players. I'm glad that I worked hard for the Tokyo Games. And that's why I can say with confidence that I earned a medal," Ito, who won every colour of medal at the Tokyo Games, said at a post-match news conference.
"I want to calm myself down first and relax. I want to continue doing what I want to do and go my own way."
Hong Kong's Lee Ho Ching, Doo Hoi Kem and Minnie Soo Wai Yam secured the bronze with a 3-1 win over Germany.
Reporting by Eimi Yamamitsu; Editing by Hugh Lawson/Toby Davis/Ken Ferris
Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.
KALAMAZOO, MI - After 78 years, the hardcourts at Kalamazoo College’s Stowe Stadium have turned into hallowed ground in the world of junior tennis.
Rod Laver, Pete Sampras, Andre Agassi and Andy Roddick are just a few of the legends who got their start at the USTA Boys’ Nationals in Kalamazoo, and with almost 500 of the country’s top junior players ready to take the court from Aug. 6-15, tennis fans from around the state will have a unique opportunity to see some of the sport’s future stars.
Among the competitors are 13 Michigan natives looking to put on a show in front of their home-state supporters.
The action starts Friday, Aug. 6, with the opening rounds of 18-and-under singles and 18U doubles play. Championship matches start Saturday, Aug. 14, when the 16U and 18U doubles winners will be crowned, followed by the 16U singles and 18U singles title matches on Sunday, Aug. 15.
Winners of the 18U doubles and 18U singles championships will receive an automatic bid to the main draw of the 2021 U.S. Open.© Jenna Kieser | jkieser/mlive.com Nathaniel Webster of Mattawan competes in the finals of the Division 2 boys tennis state finals at the University of Michigan tennis courts Saturday, Oct. 19 2019. Webster went on to take the state champion title.
Follow along to see which Michigan-based players will be competing against the nation’s best.© Mary Lewandowski | MLive/Mary Lewandowski| MLive.com Ann Arbor Greenhills Chakor Rajendra hits the ball during a Ann Arbor Greenhills vs Ann Arbor Huron boys tennis match at Greenhills High School in Ann Arbor on Monday, Oct. 7, 2019. Greenhills defeated Huron 5-3. Clayton Anderson
Hometown: Rochester Hills
Singles seed: Unseeded
The Anderson file: In his first season of high school tennis at Rochester, Anderson posted a 17-5 record in 2020 and was one of eight players in Division 1 to earn a berth at the No. 1 singles state finals, where he dropped his Round 1 match 7-6 (5), 6-4. He was the only freshman in Division 1 to receive first team all-state honors from the Michigan High School Tennis Coaches Association.© Nic Antaya/MLive Okemos' Josh Portnoy goes to hit the ball during his match against Portage Central's Camilo Bautista in the 2017 Division 2 Boys Tennis Semifinals at Kalamazoo College's Stowe Stadium in Kalamazoo, Mich. on Saturday, Oct. 21, 2017.
According to TennisRecruiting.net, Anderson is a four-star recruit, the nation’s No. 74 prospect and No. 1 in Michigan for the class of 2024.
He’ll be playing in his first USTA Boys Nationals.Ozan Colak
Singles seed: 9
The Colak file: Colak enters his third USTA Boys Nationals coming off last month’s Junior Wimbledon, where he won three matches, including an upset over the tournament’s No. 6 seed, before bowing out in Round 3.
Currently ranked 22nd on the International Tennis Federation’s Junior circuit, Colak is considered a blue-chip prospect and No. 6 recruit nationally for the class of 2022, according to TennisRecruiting.net.
Colak opened his high school tennis career by winning a state championship as a freshman at Okemos, then concentrated his efforts on traveling the globe to face the top junior competition. In 2019, he placed sixth in the 16U singles division of the USTA Boys Nationals.
A Michigan native hasn’t won a singles title at the tournament since Detroit native Mike Russell took home the 16U trophy in 1994, but Colak has a shot to break that 26-year drought.William Cooksey
Hometown: Grosse Pointe Shores
Singles seed: 33© Emil Lippe/MLive.com Ann Arbor Greenhills' Mert Oral swings to return a ball during the 2019 MHSAA Division 3 Boys Tennis Finals at Kalamazoo College in Kalamazoo, Michigan on Saturday, October 19, 2019.
The Cooksey file: A four-time Division 4 No. 1 singles state champion at Grosse Pointe Woods University Liggett, Cooksey wrapped up his impressive prep tennis career as Michigan’s 2020 Mr. Tennis Award winner.© Kaytie Boomer/MLive.com Birmingham Brother Rice's J.J. Etterbeek reached to return the ball during the Division 1 Boys Tennis Finals in Midland on Saturday, Oct. 19, 2019.
Considered a blue-chip prospect and the nation’s No. 30 recruit from the class of 2021, Cooksey will continue his tennis career at the University of Michigan, but before heading to Ann Arbor, he’ll look to pick up some wins in Kalamazoo, where he’ll be playing in his third USTA Boys Nationals.
Cooksey got off to a great start as the No. 6 seed in the 2019 16U bracket, winning his first three matches, before falling to the ninth seed in the main draw, then to Colak in the feed-in draw.© Kayla Renie/MLive.com GPW University Liggett's William Cooksey returns the ball during Saturday's division 4 boys tennis state finals at Hope College's DeWitt Tennis Center, in Holland on Oct. 19, 2019. Owen DeMuth
Hometown: Bloomfield Hills
Singles seed: Unseeded
The DeMuth file: DeMuth will be playing in his first USTA Boys Nationals and brings a good bit of momentum into the tournament, after winning two matches in the main draw and three in the consolation bracket at last month’s National Clay Court Championships in Delray Beach, Fla.
As a sophomore at Bloomfield Hills Cranbrook-Kingswood, DeMuth posted a 14-6 record and reached the Division 3 No. 1 singles state finals, where he fell to Ann Arbor Greenhills three-time state champ Mert Oral.© Patrick Nothaft/(Patrick Nothaft | MLive.com) Ozan Colak, left, holds his 16U feed-in runner-up trophy, as he poses for a photo with feed-in champion Evan Wen and tournament director Mark Riley during the 2019 USTA Boys Nationals on Sunday, Aug. 11 at Kalamazoo College's Stowe Stadium.
He is considered a four-star prospect and ranked No. 113 in the nation and No. 3 in Michigan for the class of 2023.© Emil Lippe/MLive.com Nathaniel Webster prepares to hit the ball over the net during the 2019 USTA Boys 18 & 16 National Championships at Kalamazoo College in Kalamazoo, Michigan on Saturday, August 3, 2019. J.J. Etterbeek
Hometown: Bloomfield Hills
Singles seed: Unseeded
The Etterbeek file: After winning a No. 2 singles state title as a freshman at Bloomfield Hills Brother Rice and claiming a runner-up finish to Clarkston’s Luke Baylis at No. 1 singles as a sophomore in 2019, Etterbeek focused his efforts on the USTA circuit this year. His best result was a third-place finish at a Level 4 tournament in Hilton Head, S.C., but he didn’t fair quite as well at last month’s National Clay Court Championships, where he dropped his Round 1 match and lost again in his first consolation bracket match.
Considered a five-star prospect and the nation’s No. 67 recruit and No. 3 in Michigan for the class of 2022, Etterbeek will be competing in his second USTA Boys Nationals, after going 2-2 in the 2019 16U singles tournament.Nicholas Herdoiza
Hometown: West Bloomfield
Singles seed: Unseeded
The Herdoiza file: As a sophomore at Walled Lake Central last fall, Herdoiza posted a 16-3 record and reached the Division 2 state championship match at No. 1 singles, where he fell to Mattawan’s Nathaniel Webster.
He followed that up with some strong performances on the USTA circuit, including a trip to the quarterfinals of a Midwest Level 1 tournament, a semifinal berth at a Midwest Level 2 tournament and another semifinal appearance at a Level 3 National tournament in Oro Valley, Ariz., where he fell once again to Webster by a score of 6-3, 5-7, 6-10.
Considered a five-star recruit and ranked 51st in the nation and second among Michigan prospects for the class of 2023, Herdoiza will be making his USTA Boys Nationals debut this week.Aidan Kim
Singles seed: 11
The Kim file: One of the nation’s top tennis players for his age group, Kim is considered a blue-chip prospect and No. 5 player nationally in the class of 2023, and he holds the No. 71 spot in the latest ITF Junior rankings.
Though Kim lost two of his three 16U singles matches at the 2019 USTA Boys Nationals, he and partner Lucas Brown were the runners-up in the doubles tournament. It wouldn’t be a surprise to see Kim put together another nice run in the doubles bracket, and he’s also playing great singles tennis, coming off first-place finishes at his last two hard court junior tournaments.Mert Oral
Hometown: Ann Arbor
Singles seed: Unseeded
The Oral file: Oral wrapped up his 2020 high school season last fall with his third consecutive state championship and has a chance to make it four in a row next fall, but in the meantime, he’s gearing up for his second trip to the USTA Boys Nationals.
Oral won a pair of singles matches in the 2019 tournament, including a three-set thriller in the consolation bracket, before ending his run with a close loss in third-round qualifying of the feed-in draw.
The future Michigan Wolverine is considered a five-star prospect by TennisRecruiting.net.Joshua Portnoy
Singles seed: 33
The Portnoy file: Portnoy will be playing in his third USTA Boys Nationals, with his 2019 run coming to an end at the hands of eventual 16U champ Alex Bernard. Since then, Portnoy has captured a Division 1 No. 1 singles state championship with Okemos and signed with the Michigan State men’s tennis team, where he’ll compete this fall.
Portnoy has also enjoyed success on the USTA circuit, where he won a pair of Midwest Level 2 tournaments in December.
He is considered a five-star recruit and ranked as the No. 60 prospect nationally and No. 3 player in Michigan for the class of 2021.Chakor Sankaran Rajendra
Hometown: Ann Arbor
Singles seed: Unseeded
The Sankaran Rajendra file: Sankaran Rajendra wrapped up his sophomore high school season last fall with a 26-0 record playing behind Mert Oral at No. 2 singles for the state runner-up Ann Arbor Greenhills team.
Three weeks after his high school season wrapped up Sankaran Rajendra made an impressive run at the USTA Midwest Level 1 championships by winning five of six matches and placing third.
Considered a four-star recruit and No. 4 player in Michigan for the class of 2023, Sankaran Rajendra will make his USTA Boys Nationals debut this week.Joseph Stafford
Singles seed: Unseeded
The Stafford file: Stafford doesn’t have a ton of USTA experience in the 18U age group, but logged six tournament championships at the 14U level in 2015 and 2016, helping him earn recognition as the No. 56 player nationally and the No. 2 player in Michigan for the class of 2022.Nathaniel Webster
Singles seed: 33
The Webster file: A 2021 Mattawan High School grad and the only local player competing this year, Webster is coming off his second consecutive No. 1 singles state title, after defeating Nick Herdoiza in the Division 2 finals last October.
Considered a five-star recruit and ranked as the No. 58 player in the nation and No. 2 in the state of Michigan for the class of 2021, Webster will continue his education and tennis career at Ball State next fall.
A three-time participant in the USTA Boys Nationals, Webster enters the tournament with a pair of runner-up finishes among his last four USTA events.Colson Wells
Singles seed: Unseeded
The Wells file: After winning a No. 2 singles state title with Midland Dow as a freshman in 2019, Wells transferred to Okemos for his sophomore season in 2020 and helped the Chiefs win a Division 1 state title by going 23-1 at No. 3 singles.
Considered a three-star recruit, Wells had a couple nice showings at a pair of USTA Midwest Level 2 tournaments in December, including a 16U championship in Cincinnati.
Augusta Beveridge (Concord-Carlisle)
Caroline Driscoll (Brookline)
Madeleine Driscoll (Brookline)
Olivia Gubbay (Wellesley)
Athena Li (Foxboro)
Anna Nguyen (Reading)
Emily Parkerson (Boston Latin)
Ashleigh Parlman (Acton-Boxboro)
Molly Plenge (Wellesley)
Stephanie Pratt (Manchester-Essex)
Alexandra Prudente (Notre Dame)
Katarina Schneider (King Philip)
Caroline Schulson (Newburyport)
Kaitlin Tan (Winchester)
Saanvi Vutukur (Acton-Boxboro)
Ashley Zilora (Medfield)
AUGUSTA BEVERIDGE, CONCORD-CARLISLE
The freshman went 10-0 at first singles while ranking as high as 60 nationally in the USTA 16U (top five in New England). The high honors student won the L3 New England Sectional Championship 14U in both singles and doubles. Beveridge will be competing in the Girls USTA 16U National Clay Court Championships in Huntsville, Alabama, and the USTA National Hard Court Championships in San Diego this summer.
CAROLINE DRISCOLL, BROOKLINE
The five-star recruit of the 2022 class went undefeated at first singles while losing only one game this season. The junior ranked in the top 35 in the country in the USTA 18U and won the 18U New England Winter Championships. A multi-sport athlete, Driscoll led the Brookline hockey team in scoring.
MADELEINE DRISCOLL, BROOKLINE
The freshman was unbeaten in second singles as also spent some time at first singles. She lost a total of six games all season and is currently ranked in the top 30 in USTA/New England 16U. Driscoll won the 16U New England L4 Doubles in May. She also competes on the ice hockey team.
OLIVIA GUBBAY, WELLESLEY
Named Wellesley’s Most Improved Player, the senior captain went undefeated at first doubles while helping clinch a Div. 1 sectional championship. The 2021 valedictorian and National Merit Scholar will attend the University of Virginia’s school of engineering and applied science.
ATHENA LI, FOXBORO
The freshman went undefeated in the regular season and ended the season with just one loss at first singles. She was ranked eighth in New England USTA 14U and as high as No. 6 in Massachusetts 14U. Li’s longterm goal is to play Div. 1 tennis at a competitive college.
ANNA NGUYEN, READING
The freshman is currently ranked No. 1 in USTA New England 16U and is No. 59 in the country. She has won National Level for 12U as well as National Level 2 and 3 in singles and doubles in the USTA 14U and 16U. The high honors student would eventually like to play tennis at Yale or Harvard.
EMILY PARKERSON, BOSTON LATIN
A four-time captain and three-time Dual County League MVP, Parkerson went 8-1 this season in first singles. The mainstay of the Wolfpack squad throughout her career, Parkerson finished her career with a 48-7 mark. She was awarded the President’s Scholarship at Arizona State University, where she will study aerospace engineering.
ASHLEIGH PARLMAN, ACTON-BOXBORO
Playing first singles, Parlman was 13-2 for an Acton-Boxboro team which went 19-0 and won the Div. 1 state team title. Parlman was the 2019 MIAA Individual girls tennis champion and has been a part of three state team titles. A high honors student, Parlman will play tennis at Wellesley College.
MOLLY PLENGE, WELLESLEY
Plenge was unbeatable at first doubles with Olivia Gubbay in helping Wellesley go 18-3 and taking home the Div. 1 South team title. In the offseason, Plenge plays soccer.
STEPHANIE PRATT, MANCHESTER-ESSEX
The Cape Ann League Player of the Year helped her team win the Div. 3 North sectional title. The Unsung Hero Award recipient, Pratt was a member of the 2018 Div. 3 State championship squad. A member of the National Honor Society, Pratt will attend Hamilton College.
ALEXANDRA PRUDENTE, NOTRE DAME
A three-time Catholic Conference All Star, Prudente went 14-0 this season in first singles. The Catholic Conference Coaches Award and Sportsmanship Award recipient finished with a stellar 86-6 record. A member of the National Honor Society, Prudente will play tennis and major in nursing at James Madison.
KATARINA SCHNEIDER, KING PHILIP
The Hockomock League MVP went 16-0 at first singles and only lost one set all season in leading the Warriors to the Div. 1 South semifinals. The senior was named King Philip’s female Hockomock League Scholar Athlete for 2021. The highest honor roll student and National Honor Society member will attend Cornell University.
CAROLINE SCHULSON, NEWBURYPORT
The junior went 18-0 without losing an entire set and only lost one game in the state tournament. The Cape Ann League Player of the Year and First Team All Star is a USTA National Player and is top 10 in both Mass. and New England at first singles. The honor roll student hopes to play college tennis at a high level while majoring in the medical field.
KAITLIN TAN, WINCHESTER
Tan went 11-4 at first singles as Winchester went 18-0 and captured the Div. 2 State team title. The sophomore class president participates in seven clubs and her dream school is UC Berkeley to study law.
SAANVI VUTUKUR, ACTON-BOXBORO
The junior was undefeated at second singles and part of a team that captured its third straight Div. 1 state title. A captain-elect for the Acton-Boxboro team next year, Vutukur has established a goal of playing college tennis after graduation.
ASHLEY ZILORA, MEDFIELD
The two-time Tri-Valley League MVP and Tri-Valley League All Star went 17-0 while only losing seven games in 17 matches at first singles. The junior captain is an active participant in USTA tournaments and has finished in the top 25 in New England in 12U, 14U and 16U. The president of the National Honor Society, Zilora plans to play college tennis while studying biology/pre-med.
BAY STATE CONFERENCE
Avery Liou (Milton); Kelly Pease, Allison Jeter (Natick); Emily Dhadly, Julia Miller (Newton North); Haley Genta, Maria-Lila Shutts, Lucy Plenge, Olivia Gubbay, Molly Plenge (Wellesley); Alana Tow, Julie Kalis, Esha Kelkar (Needham); Caroline Driscoll, Maddie Driscoll, Fiona McGill, Donya Shah (Brookline)
BOSTON CITY LEAGUE
Terresa Lee, Maria Peterlin, Jennie Van (Latin Academy); Jhianna Barnes, Marie Jean Joseph, Sophia Moreno (O’Bryant)
CAPE ANN LEAGUE
Caroline Schulson, Elle Doucette, Molly Page, Li McClure (Newburyport); Jesse Miller, Stephanie Pratt (Manchester- Essex); Elizabeth Grant (North Reading); Ana Radulski (Lynnfield); Nora Gamber, Chloe Gern (Hamilton-Wenham)
PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Caroline Schulson
CATHOLIC CENTRAL LEAGUE
Silvia Montillo (Archbishop Williams); Liana LaFauci (Arlington Catholic); Alexa Schiela, Hellena Trojer, Kylie McDonald, Katherine Millett, Kayla Russell (Austin Prep); Sophia Comey, Katy Cabral, Emily Wright, Emily Gallucci (Bishop Feehan); Nora Elenbaas, Madelyn Leary (Bishop Fenwick); Lexy Wynn, Sara Pothier, Jenna Domagala (Bishop Stang); Amelia Cary (Cardinal Spellman); Elizabeth Cassidy (St. Joseph); Shannon Lovett, Gina Palermo (St. Mary’s)
MVP: Alexa Schiela
Alex Prudente, Charlotte Ivimey, Bella La Grassa, Amelia Maw (Notre Dame); Callie Smith, Calista Adler (Ursuline); Ayonna Stuppard, Isabel Alvarado (Fontbonne)
DUAL COUNTY LEAGUE
Phoebe Tamaoki (Cambridge); Emily Parkerson, Grace Berman, Mirabelle Berman (Boston Latin); Olivia Rome, Samantha Buckhout, Olivia Chen (Weston); Gusty Beveridge (Concord-Carlisle); Ashleigh Parlman, Saanvi Vutukur, Lindsay Ristaino, Anjali Dasari (Acton-Boxboro); Ariana Xie, Hallie Teitelbaum (Lincoln-Sudbury)
KELLEY-REX: Katarina Schneider, Mia Valencia, Ahunna James, Shea Mellman (King Philip); Lauren Anthony, Ella Lynch-Bartek (Attleboro); Jocelyn Pagliuca (Taunton); Aryanna Khosravani, Alex Burnham, (Mansfield); Vedika Vinayak (Franklin)
MVP: Katarina Schneider
DAVENPORT: Caroline Peper, Morgan Vasiliou (Oliver Ames); Athena Li, Pamela Nelson, Sarah Prag (Foxboro); Rachel Kupferman (Canton); Hannah Faberman, Navya Shukla (Sharon); Aleksandra Lada (Stoughton); Lauren Hunt (North Attleboro)
MVP: Athena Li
MERRIMACK VALLEY CONFERENCE
Sarah Houston (Academy of Notre Dame); Isabel Zhou, Jennie Wang, Rachel Chen, Carol Yu, Eva McKone, Sonika Choudbary, Elysia Yu (Andover); Elena Albano (Haverhill)
MVP: Isabel Zhou, Elena Albano
LIBERTY: Kaitlin Tan, Caroline Fredey, Claire Lupien, Maddy Buck, Caroline Andrews (Winchester); Katja Szturma, Lilly Pfister (Arlington); Aashna Sahani, Abby Lee, Jessica Dai (Lexington); Ally Donahue, Dahlia Lui, Tilly Jones, Violet Whitmer (Belmont); Anna Nguyen (Reading); Reagan Mohammed (Woburn)
MVP: Ann Nguyen
FREEDOM: Liz Gillespie, Kacey Pustizzi, Sam Matai, Annabel Willey (Burlington); Ruby Robicheau, Dara Casey, Haley Smith, Grace Sanderson ( Melrose); Panagiota Koutroubis (Wakefield); Jenna Petrie (Watertown); Maya Johnson, Maria LaTerza (Stoneham); Lauren D’Arco (Wilmington)
MVP: Liz Gillespie
ALL-CONFERENCE: Kendall Skulley, Nina Klink, Shaylee Moreno (Masconomet); Allison Tribendis (Swampscott); Emily Clough, Lauren Podgur, Leah Saulnier, Ava Ullian (Marblehead)
MVP: Kendall Skulley
SOUTH COAST CONFERENCE
Brooklyn Bindas, Saige Galhardo, Olivia Powers, McKenzie Brodley (Wareham); Jordan Ramos (Somerset Berkley); Kaydin Pinto (Fairhaven); Maya Fontinha (Apponequet); Nora Barmashi (Bourne); Elizabeth DaCunha (Fairhaven); Emily Murphy, Gracie McCarthy, Katelyn Luong, Emma Vivino (Old Rochester)
MVP: Brooklyn Bindas
Ashley Zilora, Julia Wilson (Medfield); Olivia McConnell, Madeline Sutro (Norton); Olivia Lee, Erica Didonato (Westwood); Claire Caffrey, Piper Evans, Katherine Whittle, Addie Atwood, Isabelle Lefevre, Quinn Carson (Dover-Sherborn); Maya Storm, Madison LaMachia, Riley Krattenmaker, Sophie Kaplan, Vani Sharma (Hopkinton)
MVP: Ashley Zilora, Madeline Sutro