By Neha Aggarwal
Chinese Taipei leads
17-year old Chen Ying Chen from Chinese Taipei, currently ranked No.38 in the Under 18 Girls Singles world ranking is the top seeded player in Junior girls’ singles competition. Chen has never won a World Junior Circuit Tournament, thus, the Indian Open is a perfect stage for her to make the debut.
Seeded No.2 is Su Pei-Ling, the current No.43 in the Under 18 Girls’ Singles rankings. The 16-year old made her debut at the international stage in 2013 Chinese Taipei Junior and Cadet Open. She was defeated by Ito Mima in the Junior Girls Singles round of 32 in a full 7 games duel. Since then, Su has made considerable progress, she finished semi finalist at the 2016 Chinese Taipei Junior and Cadet Open, loosing to the champion Soo Wai Yam Minnie of Hong Kong. At Indore, she has the opportunity to get better with her own record.
These two girls along with 6 others will be competing in Cadet and Junior events.
Indian Girls: Confident and fierce
The Indian contingent will be headed by Archana Girish Kamath, currently No.47 in the Under 18 Girls’ Singles category. Kamath has been in great shape this year, she was crowned the champion at the 2016 Morocco Junior and Cadet Open in the month of July. She was also the semi finalist at the Spanish Junior and Cadet Open in May 2016. She trains under her coach Peter Engle in Germany and is looking to get India the gold at Indore. Kamath is also currently at No.11 in the World Junior Circuit Girls’ Standings. With stiff competition from Chinese Taipei, Kamath will have huge responsibilities on her shoulders to get India the gold as she leads the Indian contingent.
16- year old Selena Selvakumar, who hails from southern India with both parents as former table tennis players, is another fierce competitor. Although she is currently ranked 201 in the Under 18 Girls’ rankings, she was the winner at 2016 Qatar Junior and Cadet Open and Semi finalist at 2016 Bahrain Junior and Cadet Open in February this year. Currently at No.7 in the World Junior Circuit Girls’ Standings, Selena has a wonderful opportunity to gather more points in Indore and move up the Under 18 rankings ladder.
The Chinese Taipei will field a total of 8 girls in Juniors and Cadet events. Their only competition is from India, 23 girls will be competing in Junior and cadet events. With India having the advantage of Kamath and Selena as confident players after winning their respective titles previously this year, Chinese Taipei also has a big challenge.
Will the Indians dominate at Indore or will Chinese Taipei crush Indian dreams?
Play commences with Team Event on 7th September 2016.