by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor
The winner of the Junior Boys’ Singles events in both Guatemala and El Salvador in 2012, when only 14 years old and also successful earlier this year in Thailand; Huang Chien-Tu is the third highest rated male player on duty.
He is supported in his quest for honours by Lai Chi-Chien and Lin Yun-Ju, both players who have impressed on this year’s ITTF Junior Circuit.
Lai Chi-Chien, the no.5 seed, the runner up in France, is listed one place below India’s Ananth Devarajan who has yet to impress on this year’s ITTF World Junior Circuit. Lin Yun-Ju is the next in line, he is the no.6 seed. Impressively, he reached the semi-final round in Hong Kong.
Notably in the Junior Boys’ Team event, Feng Yi-Hsin who reached the quarter-final stage of the Junior Boys’ Singles event in Thailand lines up alongside Huang Chien-Tu and Lin Yun-Ju, the trio being the no.2 seeds. Lai Chi-Chien allies with Hu Chung-Wen and Lin Huan-Hsun both players making their first appearance of the year on the ITTF World Junior Circuit.
Undoubtedly, the host association represents a major challenge for honours; however, if they are to secure the top step of the podium, they will have to withstand the efforts of talented visitors from Japan.
Takuto Izumo, Masaki Takami and Aoto Asazu form the top seeded trio in the Junior Boys’ Team event; furthermore, Takuto Izumo and Aoto Asazu are prominent names in the Junior Boys’ Singles competition.
Listed at no.13 on the current Under 18 Boys’ World Rankings, Takuto Izumo is the top seed; he is making his third ITTF World Junior Circuit appearance of the year having been a semi-finalist in both France and Sweden.
It is a very similar situation for Aoto Asazu; named at no.48 in the global order, he is the no.7 seed in Taipei City; likewise he is making his third appearance of the year on the ITTF World Junior Circuit, having been a semi-finalist in Portugal and the runner up in the Slovak Republic.
Notably neither Shunsuke Togami nor Yu Kayama appears in the Japanese Boys’ Team selection. Shunusuke Togami is the no.8 seed in the Junior Boys’ Singles event, having earlier this year been a quarter-finalist in the Slovak Republic.
Taipei will be his third appearance of the year on the ITTF Junior World Junior Circuit; for Yu Kayama, the no.2 seed, it will be no less than his eighth.
He is one of the most familiar faces and he has enjoyed notable success.
Only 14 years old; in Junior Boys’ Singles events, he was the runner up in Sweden, a quarter-finalist in the Czech Republic, Portugal and Spain.
Meanwhile, in the Czech Republic, Spain and Poland, he won the Cadet Boys’ Singles events.
Play begins with the team events, the individual competitions commence on Friday 26th August.
Wednesday 24th August: Junior Boys’ Team – Stage One
Wednesday 24th August: Junior Girls’ Team – Stage One
Wednesday 24th August: Cadet Boys’ Team – Stage One
Wednesday 24th August: Cadet Girls’ Team – Stage One