Van Lange continues U-15 and U-18 Junior National reign

Jonathan Van Lange was unstoppable in the National Junior and Cadet Table Tennis Championships over the weekend.

– Melville and Thomas share female spoils

JONATHAN Van Lange used a mixture of maturity and shot selection to unravel his opponents en route to defending his titles, while Crystal Melville ended the reign of Thuraia Thomas as U-18 female champion, after she had lost to her in the U-15 final in the National Junior and Cadet Table Tennis Championships, at the Cliff Anderson Sports Hall.

As if it was scripted, the finals of both the male and female U-15 and U-18 battles, on Sunday, were played by the same four individuals, but unlike the girls who shared the spoils, 13-year-old Titans TT Club player, Van Lange triumphed in both his finals when he faced nemesis, Kaysan Ninvalle.


Crystal Melville (left) and Thuraia Thomas shared the spoils in the female division.

In the U-15 clash, the 14-year-old female players gave their all. Thomas battled back from two games down to beat Melville.  Melville had a chance to close the game after winning the openers 11-8 and 12-10, but she lost the third 10-12. With momentum on her side and a victory under her belt, Thomas went on to win the next game to even the match, before she won a tense last game at 12-10.

Earlier, Melville had defeated Nkechi McRae 3-0 (11-6, 11-8, 11-4), while Thomas had gotten the better of Jasmine Billingy 3-2 (5-11, 11-7, 11-4, 8-11 and 11-5).

In the U-18 final, the game also came down to the wire, but this time Melville was the victor. She won 3-2 (9-11, 11-8, 2-11 11-6 and 11-7).

In the semi-finals, Thomas defeated McRae 3-1 (11-0, 11-4, 9-11 and 11-4), while Melville got the better of Billingy 3-1 (9-11, 12-10, 11-8, 11-8).

In the boys U-15 final, Van Lange kept his composure and took calculated risks to sweep Ninvalle 3-0 (11-9, 11-8 and 11-8).

Earlier, he had defeated Caribbean Mini and Pre Cadet bronze medallist, Colin Wong 3-0 (11-5, 11-9 and 11-7), while Ninvalle had gotten the better of Krystian Sahadeo 3-1 (11-9, 12-10, 11-13 and 11-7).

In the U-18 final, Ninvalle kept battling and ending up winning one of the games, but Van Lange was too good as he succeeded 3-1 (11-8, 11-5, 8-11, 11-6).

In the U-18 final four, Van Lange, who was flawless in all his games, had defeated Jamal Nicholas 3-0 (11-8, 11-9 and 11-7), while Ninvalle had gotten the better of Niran Bissu (11-9, 11-6 and 11-8).