Jann Mari Nayre’s bid for a medal in the 2018 Youth Olympic Games came to an end on Tuesday, after he dropped his match to Kanak Jha of the United States at the Table Tennis Arena of the Technopolis in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Jha defeated Nayre in four sets, 13-11, 11-8, 15-13, 11-8, but not after encountering a strong resistance from the Filipino ace on his final match in Group B of the men’s singles preliminaries.
Losing back-to-back matches after winning his opening game opposite Nicolas Burgos of Chile, the 18-year-old pride of Baybay, Leyte failed to advance in the round of 16 and bombed out of the tournament for good.
“Maganda ang nilaro ko kanina pero talagang magaling ang kalaban (Jha),” said Nayre, who is the first Filipino table tennis palyer to qualify to the Youth Olympics.
“This is a learning experience para sa akin,” added Nayre, who made it to the quarterfinals of the Southeast Asian Games in Kuala Lumpur last year and the round of 32 in the recent Asian Games held in Jakarta, Indonesia.
Korean coach Kwon Mi Sook, who mentored the late Ian Lariba in the 2016 Rio De Janeiro Games, was also credited for helping Nayre qualify in the YOG.
According to chef de mission and Philippine Olympic Committee auditor Jonne Go, Mi Sook helped spend for the training of Nayre out of her own pocket.
In other sports, Filipino-Norwegian Christian Tio got into the top six out of 12 entries in the first round of the kiteboarding competitions, while swimmer Nicole Oliva failed to advance to the finals of the women’s 100-meter freestyle event after landing sixth out of eight in her heat in 57.33 seconds.
Oliva, based in Sta. Clara, California, will swim in the heats of the 800-meter free, while golfers Yuka Saso and Carl Jano Corpus will start their bid at the Hurlingham Club as well as fencer Lawrence Everett Tan in the men’s foil event.
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