Nicholas Lum and Finn Luu set the standard in Metz

With France the destination, Nicholas Lum and Finn Luu set the standard for the Australian contingent at the WTT Youth Contender Metz 2023 tournament, with the boys’ events being staged from Friday 21 to Sunday 23 April.

In the under 19 boys’ singles, both reached the fourth round; the last 16.

Safely through the group stage of play, Nicholas Lum accounted for England’s Joshua Bruce (11-3, 11-4, 11-8) and Frenchman, Flavio Mourier (11-7, 11-9, 8-11, 11-4), before Romania’s Iulian Chirita (10-12, 11-7, 11-9, 11-8) halted progress.

Notably, one round later, Iulian Chirita halted the progress of Korea Republic’s Kim Gaon (11-9, 11-8, 11-9), the player who, in the fourth round, had beaten Finn Luu.

Earlier, after negotiating the group stage without defeat, Finn Luu had ousted two players from the Korea Republic.  After gaining a direct entry to round two, he overcame both Kwok Hyuk (8-11, 11-8, 11-6, 6-11, 11-8) and Chen Junsong (9-11, 12-10, 4-11, 11-9, 11-7).

Impressive from Nicholas Lum and Finn Luu, it was the same in the under 17 boys’ singles from Won Bae – he advanced to round three.

Following narrow defeat in the group stage when facing Poland’s Patryk Zyworonek (8-11, 11-7, 14-12, 8-11, 11-9), he recovered to beat Romania’s Flavius Rus (11-6, 11-5, 11-7), prior to accounting for Slovakia’s Martin Marco (11-4, 7-11, 11-6, 11-4) and Austria’s Petra Hodina (11-5, 9-11, 11-9, 8-11, 11-9).

However, that was to be the end of the road, in round three he experienced defeat by the minimal margin when opposing Korea Republic’s Lee Hoyun, the top seed (8-11, 11-7, 11-13, 11-7, 12-10).

Similarly, in the under 15 boys’ singles Won Bae impressed.  Unbeaten in the group phase, he advanced to round two where Portugal’s Tiago Abiodun (11-8, 11-9, 11-8).

A second-round farewell, it was the same for Aditya Sareen in both the under 17 boys’ singles and under 15 boys’ singles.  In the former he was beaten by Sweden’s Isaak Alfredsson (11-5, 11-9, 12-10), and in the latter by China’s Hou Youhao (11-7, 11-9, 11-5).

Alas for Hwan Bae in the under 19 boys’ singles, there was no progress beyond the group stage, a situation that applied to the luckless Lucas Lum in both the under 17 boys’ singles and under 15 boys’ singles event.

Nevertheless, keeping matters in perspective, it is junior play – the learning stage.


Article adapted from the ITTF-Oceania website.