by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor
The winner in February in the Czech Republic and in late April in Portugal, the 15 year old is the top name in an event where Japan is the dominant force. They occupy the top three places.
Takuto Izumo, 17 years old, is the no.2 seed, followed immediately by 16 years of age Koyo Kanamitsu.
Notably, Koyo Kanamitsu won in Spain, having been the runner up in Portugal when beaten in the final by Yukiya Uda; Takuto Izumo has yet to reach such heights but he has proved a most worthy adversary. In both France and Sweden, he was a Junior Boys’ Singles bronze medallist.
Listed at no.2 on the current ITTF World Junior Circuit Boys’ Standings, one place behind Slovenia’s Darko Jorgic, who is not competing Szombathely, Yukiya Uda is a major candidate for an invitation to the Finals to be held in Indore, India next January.
Likewise, Koyo Kanamitsu at no.5 is also high on the list but with only two players per national association permitted to compete in the Finals, the chances for Takuto Izumo, listed at no.29, are more than remote.
Places in the Finals beckoning; it is very much the same for Germany’s Tobias Hippler, the no.8 seed in Szombathely, the winner in the Slovak Republic, he is listed at no.10 on the ITTF World Junior Circuit Boys’ Standings.
Possibilities if an invitation to Indore for three leading names in the Junior Boys’ Singles event in Hungary; for the remaining names it is not realistic.
Kanak Jha of the United States, the no.4 seed, is making his first appearance of the year on the ITTF World Junior Circuit; whilst of the next in line Frenchman Irvin Bertrand, Belgium’s Florian Cnudde and Romania’s Rares Sipos, it is only Florian Cnudde who has made his mark.
He was the runner up on home soil in Belgium when beaten by Remi Menand of France.
Play commences in Szombathely with the first stage of the Junior Boys’ Singles event; the leading 32 players receive direct entries to the main draw.
Live streaming from the Hungarian Junior and Cadet Open – Day One