Youngsters enjoy success at table tennis event

By Dominique Stafford in Racquet Sports

HOT-SHOT table tennis players from the borough of Barnet took top honours at the Jack Petchey London and Essex Schools’ table tennis singles finals at the University of East London’s SportsDock.

The event brought together 90 players from 30 schools across London and Essex – including Edgware’s London Academy and St Michael’s Catholic Grammar School in Finchley – in four age groups, boys’ and girls’ under-11, under-13, under-16 and under-19.

Patricia Ianau, 14, from London Academy won the girls’ under-16 title, beating 15-year-old Gracie Firkins from Tendring Technology College in Frinton 10-12, 11-8, 12-10, 11-8 to secure her first win in the competition after three years of trying.

“This was a great competition and I am so glad I won at last,” she said. “I love table tennis and can’t wait to defend my title.”

The girls’ under-19 final proved to be an all Barnet affair, with 18-year-old Jasmine Chan from St Michaels’ Catholic Grammar School beating Patricia’s older sister Natalia Ianau, 19, also from London Academy in the decisive match – coming through 4-11, 14-12, 9-11, 11-9, 11-9.

“The competition is really good, but it’s not just about winning,” she said. “I like meeting people and encourage others to play. It’s a great sport.”

The boys’ under-13 event saw 12-year-old Yacine Boubekeur from London Academy finish runner-up to Aadil Anand from the American School in Westminster, being beaten 11-2, 11-2, 11-2.

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