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25 May 2024

Colombian Torres Stuns 3/4 Seed To Make World Juniors L16

13 Aug 2022

Unseeded Juan Jose Torres produced the shock of the tournament so far when the Colombian stunned Egypt's 3/4 seed Kareem El Torkey 3/2 in a rollercoaster encounter to progress to the last 16 of the 2022 Men's WSF World Junior Championship.

Torres, 17, had looked impressive in a 3/0 win over Canada's Joseph Tooth on day one in the French city of Nancy - and in round three his form went up another level as the world No.630 made the perfect start to recover from 9-8 down to take an 11-9 opening game win.

The second game, too, went to 9-9, before Torres forced his way into a morale-boosting two-game lead with a second 11-9 win.

However, El Torkey came back well and won the next two games 11-7 and 11-4 to take the match into a decider.

The Egyptian seemed to have weathered the storm and looked set to complete the recovery and make the L16 round when he led 8-4 in the fifth game.

Torres, however, dug in well, taking advantage of mistakes from the Egyptian to pull back from 9-7 down to an 11-9 win, sparking wild celebrations from the Colombia bench.

Afterwards, Torres said: "I love my country, I'm so proud of it and I feel that helps me a lot. Especially in tournaments like this, where Egypt is normally the best country, beating them with my country on my back helps motivate me so much.

"I'm of course feeling tired, but so happy and excited for the next match. I played really good in the first two games, but then my fitness went a bit and he was gaining confidence, but then in the last game I gained confidence again, I started playing my game and figured out a way to win. The crowd was helping me a lot."

Torres will face Krishna Mishra in the last 16 after the unseeded Indian came back from two games down to beat the USA's Tad Carney 3/2.

Elsewhere, the top two seeds, Pakistan pairing Hamza Khan and Noor Zaman, safely progressed to the next round, with Khan comfortably beating Korea's Joo Young Na and Zaman coming from one game down to edge past Switzerland's David Bernet 3/2.

The last of the top seeds, 3/4 seed Finlay Withington of England, recorded a comfortable 3/0 win over Hong Hong's Tsz Shing Tam to set up a last 16 clash with India's 9/16 seed Arnaav Sareen.

For the hosts, 9/16 seed Brice Nicolas will carry the hopes of the home crowd as the sole French player left in either draw after he beat Canada's Jacob Lin 3/0.

In the women's draw, England's 9/16 seed Asia Harris narrowly avoided suffering a surprise defeat when she beat Canada's Maria Min 3/2 after going two games down and overturning two match balls.

Min had taken a deserved two game lead as she punished a slow start from Harris, before the world No.121 struck back with a crushing 11-1 win in game three.

Despite what should have been a morale-boosting win in that third game, Harris was in deep trouble as she slipped to 9-4 down in the fourth, before eventually recovering - saving two match balls along the way - to level with a 12-10 win before edging the tightest of fifth games with another 12-10.

Afterwards, Harris said: "I've always been quite a good fighter and I think going two games down actually helps in the long run because it makes me think 'there's an opportunity here and I'm going to lose if I don't buck my ideas up.'

"So to be two game balls down and two match balls down, I think I'll benefit a lot from this and it's something to take into my next games."

Elsewhere in the women's draw it was a comfortable day for the top seeds, who all progressed to the next round tomorrow courtesy of 3/0 wins, with the Egyptian trio of Kenzy Ayman, Amina Orfi and Fayrouz Aboelkheir beating Belgium's Chloe Crabbe, France's Lauren Baltayan, and England's Amelie Haworth, while Malaysia's Aira Azman beat the USA's Kyushu Kukadia to set up an all-Malaysia clash with 9/16 seed Sehveetrraa Kumar.

Azman, the younger sister of world No.24 Afia Azman, thanked her family and teammates for helping to motivate her.