The first winners since 2019 were crowned at the Jack Petchey Foundation Schools Table Tennis Individual Finals.
More than 150 players competed across boys’ and girls’ events in four age groups, with the eight champions coming from seven different schools – only London Academy won more than one.
Jack Petchey Foundation Chairman Ron Mills was in attendance to show his and the Foundation’s support for the event and to encourage the competitors on a busy and vibrant day at the University of East London’s SportsDock centre.
All pictures by Stephen Pover – more will appear on our Flickr page in the next few days. The trophies were presented by Priya Samuel, Board Member of Table Tennis England, and Jessica Villiers from the Jack Petchey Foundation.
Maahi Malde won the title, the Holland House School student overcoming Soraya Walentynska of London Academy 3-0 (11-5, 11-7, 11-8) in the final.
The champion, who is 10 years old, said: “I was a bit nervous at the start but quite excited as well and it feels really good to win. I was quite aggressive with my shots and that’s what helped me.”
Malde got past Adhuna Das 3-0 (11-9, 11-9, 11-2) in the semi-finals, while Walentynska was a 3-0 (11-7, 11-9, 13-11) victory over Inayah Zasella.
The Plate final was won by Astrid Styrvoldt-Chaigneau, defeating Ruby Bamidele 3-1 (3-11, 11-4, 11-3, 11-8) in the final.
Charles Donald of Brentwood School was the champion in fine style as he saw off Harrison Hill from Cathedral School in the final.
The scoreline was 3-0 (11-6, 11-4, 11-5) in favour of Donald, who said: “I’m really happy, I’ve had a fantastic day. I thought I might get to the final but I wasn’t sure about winning it.
“My dad helped me by coaching me and telling me to keep calm and smile and enjoy it.”
Donald had an awkward moment in the semi-finals but rallied to beat Zaid Aldilimi 3-1 (11-7, 9-11, 11-2, 11-4). Hill overcame Aarav Berigar 3-0 (11-8, 11-8, 11-6).
The Plate competition was won by Amar Hussein Lalji, who beat Alexander Cheung 3-0 (11-5, 11-8, 11-8) in the final.
Sienna Jetha of London Academy was a cut above everyone else as she won the title without dropping a set.
The 12-year-old won an international competition in Linz last week and used the experience to her advantage.
She said: “The competition in Linz gave me a lot of confidence and I came into the hall well prepared and with the belief I was going to win.”
The final saw Jetha defeat Evie Knaapen of Greensward School 3-0 (11-9, 11-8, 11-2). She had beaten Hayat Osseiran Pistecky 3-0 (11-9, 11-3, 11-2) in the semi-finals, while Knaapen overcame Mauli Shah 3-1 (11-7, 7-11, 11-8, 11-9).
The Plate final was won by Tadeea Aparaschivei, who defeated Jazmen Belay 3-1 (11-9, 6-11, 11-6, 11-6).
Adam Alibhai of Chigwell School won the gold medal by overcoming Max Radiven 3-1 (11-9, 2-11, 11-9, 11-7) in the final.
Alibhai had defeated Parsa Yamin 3-1 (11-5, 8-11, 11-9, 11-9) in the semi-finals, while Radiven dug deep to beat Shahuraj Nimse 3-2 (11-6, 7-11, 11-8, 9-11, 11-5).
Alibhai, who is competing at his first international event at the WTT Youth Contender Linz this coming week, said: “I kept focused. I was expecting to finish second or first and was ready for a tough match in the final because Max is a very good player, so it was definitely good to win.”
The Plate was won by Aiden Lees, who overcame Gatan Gogulen 3-0 (11-9, 11-9, 11-5) in the final.
Lianna Shilani-Tousi is the champion, the Hammersmith Academy student beating Mabel Shute from Roding Valley High School 3-0 (11-9, 11-5, 12-10) in the final.
Lianna, aged 13, said: “I feel very happy. My expectation was to do well and I felt confident, so I was able to play well.”
Shilani-Tousi came from behind to beat Parmis Ahsani 3-1 (10-12, 11-6, 11-1, 13-11) in the semi-finals, while Shute was twice behind against Anaiya Ali before winning 3-2 (7-11, 11-9, 4-11, 12-10, 11-2).
Alisha Dutta claimed the Plate victory, beating Jacqui Lesh 3-0 (11-4, 11-3, 11-2) in the final.
Daniel Goitom from Ernest Bevin College beat Wallington County Grammar’s Jacob Archer 3-1 (8-11, 11-6, 12-10, 11-9) in the final to take the gold medal.
The 15-year-old said: “I underestimated myself at the beginning and had a slow start, but I persevered and kept going.
“I haven’t trained in a long time because I’ve had a hand injury and couldn’t hold the bat properly, so I only really hoped to get to the quarter-finals.”
Both semi-finals went to a deciding game and the winners came from 2-0 down in each case – Goitom beat Ollie Maric-Murray 3-2 (0-11, 9-11, 11-6, 11-9, 11-6) and Archer got past Chid Egbeama 3-2 (8-11, 9-11, 12-10, 11-7, 11-9).
Joe Buscombe won the Plate courtesy of a 3-0 (11-6, 11-7, 11-6) victory over Fernando Frandes in the final.
Jonabel Taguibao of St George’s Catholic School beat Yuvathi Kumar of Wallington Girls’ School to take the title.
Kumar was under-16 champion three years ago and also a previous under-13 champion, but could not make it a hat-trick as Taguibao won 3-0 (11-4, 11-7, 11-8).
The winner said: “I felt quite confident today, but at the same time I was having a bit of doubt about winning. My team from Greenhouse and my friends from school helped me and supported me along the way.”
The Plate victory went to Sanya Soltani, who beat Aasini Shah 3-0 (11-6, 11-2, 11-6) in the final.
London Academy’s Octavian Aparaschivei had to dig deep to recover a 2-1 deficit and beat Harry Buckle of King Edward VI College.
The score in the final was 3-2 (6-11, 11-6, 7-11, 11-1, 11-3) in Aparaschivei’s favour and the winner said: “I started off quite badly but slowly got myself into it, I was more comfortable towards the end and happy to get the win.”
In the semi-finals, Aparaschivei, 17, beat Henry Maric-Murray 3-1 (7-11, 11-4, 11-6, 11-9), while Buckle battled past Amirudh Gandepalli 3-2 (5-11, 13-11, 14-16, 11-8, 11-4).
Liam Harris won the Plate competition, thanks to a 3-0 (11-4, 11-5, 11-6) victory in the final against Mario Loakim.