TABLE TENNIS: Grantham’s Leete puts in strong performance in France

Matt Leete in action at the French Youth Open in Metz. Photo: ITTF
Matt Leete in action at the French Youth Open in Metz. Photo: ITTF
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Grantham table tennis prodigy Matt Leete won his singles group and reached the last 16 of the doubles as he performed well at the French Youth Open.

Ranked joint 64th in the event in Metz, the youngster enjoyed a 100 per cent record in the Junior Boys’ Singles group stage, beating Hungary’s Oliver Both 3-0 (11-6, 11-8, 11-8), defeating Jakub Jankowski of Poland by the same margin (11-4, 11-9, 11-8), and then overcoming 17th seed Jo Yokotani of Japan 3-2 in a match featuring some lengthy sets (12-14, 11-6, 15-17, 11-9, 11-6).

However, he was beaten in the last 64 by the higher-ranked American Gal Alguetti, who triumphed 4-1 (11-9, 11-8, 8-11, 13-11, 11-9).

In the doubles, 17-year-old Matt and partner Josh Bennett beat Swiss pair Dorian Girod and Pedro Osiro 3-2 (7-11, 11-7, 11-5, 5-11, 11-6) in the last 64, and Belgium/Hong Kong pairing Laurens Devos and Lee Pak Ho 3-1 (11-7, 8-11, 11-9, 11-8) in the last 32.

Their run was ended by Maciej Kubik and Samuel Kulczycki of Poland, who won their last 16 clash 3-1 (11-8, 9-11, 11-8, 11-9).

In the team event, Matt and Bennett were joined by compatriot James Hobson, but they lost matches to Japan A (3-0), USA (3-1) and a Singapore-Lithuania combination (3-2). Matt’s best result was a 3-1 (11-8, 5-11, 11-9, 11-8) victory over Shao Feng Ethan Poh in the latter.