First Olympic table tennis medals for USA and Brazil at Youth Olympics

NANJING, China, (PNA/Xinhua) — Before Wednesday’s bronze medal matches at the Nanjing Youth Olympics, no athlete from the Americas had won a table tennis medal at an Olympic Games, but that changed for the better with bronze medals won by athletes from the USA and Brazil.

The bronze medal events began with Lily Zhang of the USA facing Japan’s Kato Miyu in the women’s competition, and in a tight game that lasted six sets Zhang won 4-2.

“Miyu is an amazing player,” Zhang said about her opponent, who is ranked fifth in the junior world ranking. “I was able to calm myself down by telling myself to not think about the points. A lot of times I rush too much and then I keep losing more points. Winning here in China is an amazing experience.”

In the second bronze medal match, Brazil’s Hugo Calderano beat Yang Heng-Wei of Chinese Taipei 4-2 in a fast-paced game.

“It was hard playing against him and I know the crowd favored him, but that didn’t influence me,” said Calderano about his victory.

“It is a great experience and the Youth Olympics might be a good preparation for Rio 2016 because now I know how it feels.”