by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor
A fine effort from Takuto Izumo in Szombathely but a place in the 2016 ITTF World Junior Circuit Finals, to be staged in the Indian city of Indore from Thursday 26th to Saturday 28th January, is very much a forlorn hope.
Overall for the Boys’ Singles event in Indore there are 16 places on offer but only two players per national association may compete.
Slovenia’ Darko Jorgic tops the list (4.740 points) but in the top 12 names there are no less than five Japanese players. Takuto Izumo is fifth on the list.
Next in line to Koyo Kanamitsu is Yukiya Uda (3,849 points), with Yu Kayama being in sixth place (2,737 points), he is pursued immediately by Aoto Asazu (2,701 points).
Furthermore, in order to qualify for the Finals, a player must have competed in two continents; thus Chinese Tapei’s Huang Chien-Tu, who ended matters in fifth spot (3,024 points), one place behind Qatar’s Mohammed Abdulwahhab (3,318 points) is not eligible having competed in Asia.
Also, there is one place for the host nation, whilst each of the six continents affiliated to the International Table Tennis Federation – Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America, North America, Oceania – is eligible to be represented by at least one player.
Notably, India’s Manav Vikash Thakkar finished in ninth place (2,457 points), one position behind Bahrain’s Rashed Sanad (2,457 points) and one ahead Germany’s Tobias Hippler (2,442 points).
Chinese Taipei’s Lai Chi-Chien (2,362 points) completes the top 12 names with next in the order of merit being colleague Li Hsing-Yang (1,934 points), Thailand’s Pattaratorn Passara (1,920 points) and Tai Ming-Wei, also from Chinese Taipei (1,908 points).
Only two players from Chinese Taipei may compete in India; additionally Pattaratorn Passara only played in Asia; it means that door for an invitation to the Finals may well be open for the latter’s colleague Yanapong Panagitgun who finished in 15th place (1,852 points) and Qatar’s Nawaf Al-Malki who ended the year in 16th spot (1,771 points).
Notably, Asia and Europe dominate the leading positions; the leading players from Africa, Latin America, North America and Oceania, who have met the two continent appearance criteria, are Victor Liu of the United States (1,390 points), Tunisia’s Omar Ammous (1,340 points), Brazil’s Siddharta Almeida (1,160 points) and Australia’s Rohan Dhooria (660 points).
An official invitation list for the 2016 ITTF World Junior Circuit Finals will be announced shortly.
2016 ITTF World Junior Circuit: ITTF Boys’ Standings – Final Order