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Phan ends Singapore campaign

25 August 2010

Aussie Lily Phan and teammate Luis Mejia have fought hard but couldn’t progress pass the first knockout stage of the classification rounds of the mixed teams table tennis.

Following yesterday’s three defeats the Australian and her partner from El Salvador were placed in the knockout for positions 17-32 but weren’t able to push up the rankings as they lost both singles matches to the European 3 team.

Phan was first up as she took on Great Britain’s Alice Loveridge and despite taking the first two sets couldn’t close out the match going down in five to the girl from Guernsey.

The young Aussie had her best opening to a match in the competition so far claiming back to back sets 11-7 and 11-8.

Loveridge got herself on the board in the third, coming back from 3-5 down to stay in the match as she claimed the set 11-8

Phan fought hard in the fourth set coming back from 5-9 down to record five straight points and take her to a 10-9 lead and match point. Loveridge fought back though eventually closing out the set 13-11, while Phan was unlucky to have some illegal crucial service calls go against her.

Loveridge maintained her momentum and completed her comeback taking the decider 11-5, with Phan again being pulled up for her serve on a few occasions.

“That was the best match I played all tournament,” Phan said.

“She was ranked quite a few places higher than me, so I think I did pretty good even though I was a bit unfortunate in last set.”

Mejia then had to win to ensure the tie was to go into a deciding doubles match but couldn’t match it with classy Italian Leonardo Mutti, going down 11-2, 11-4, 11-4, to end Phan and Mejia’s Singapore 2010 campaign.

While she didn’t get the desired results at Singapore’s Indoor Stadium, Phan believes the Youth Olympics has put her in a great position to improve her game into the future.

“Playing on an international stage like this will help me prepare for future big events such as the Commonwealth Games and the Olympics.”

With coach Brett Clarke watching every shot from the side of the court he is also confident the Youth Olympics will help Phan develop as she goes ahead.

“I think the competition will help Lily out a lot in the future,” said Clarke.

“She played a lot of Asian and European players so she got to know the styles of how people from around the world which should hold her in good stead for the future.”  

Phan will now return to Australia to prepare for the world cadet challenge where she will compete for Oceania before the world junior championships later in the year.

Matt Bartolo

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