by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor
Both will be seeking to improve on the performances of some 12 months ago. Mohammed Abdulwahhab, known at the time as Mohammed Abdulhussein finished in third place in his group ahead of Saudi Arabia’s Al Alkhadrawi but behind Japan’s Tomokazu Harimoto and Chinese Taipei’s Tsai Chun-Yu.
He progressed to the consolation stage where Brazil’s Isaac Zauli ended notions of progress.
The winner in 2016 in Morocco, Mohammed Abdulwahhab concluded the year in fourth place on the Standings; for Darko Jorgic it was top place
Second place in his group one year ago behind Spain’s Carlos Vedriel but ahead of England’s Helshan Weerasinghe and India’s Siddesh Pande; Darko Jorgic was beaten at the quarter-final stage by Japan’s Takuto Izumo, the eventual winner.
Now in January 2017, it is from Japan that Darko Jorgic faces the stiffest challenge; sandwiched in between Darko Jorgic and Mohammed Abdulwahhab in the order of merit is the duo of Koyo Kanamitsu and Yukiya Uda.
In 2016, Darko Jorgic competed in four ITTF World Junior Circuit tournaments; he won in Qatar, Italy and Croatia but in the first tournament of the year, staged in the Czech Republic, he experienced his only defeat of the year. He was beaten in the final by Yukiya Uda.
Additionally, Yukiya Uda won in Portugal when he beat Koyo Kanamitsu in the title decider; one week later in Spain he was the runner up. He lost to Koyo Kanamitsu who thus evened the score; additionally Koyo Kanamitsu won in Hungary.
Darko Jorgic, Koyo Kanamitsu and Yukiya Uda are leading contenders but there are major challengers for honours and just as Carlos Vedriel surprised everyone one year ago by reaching the final; there are names to note this year.
Players who have won on the 2016 ITTF World Junior Circuit may well have an impact; Germany’s Tobias Hippler won in both the Slovak Republic and Tunisia, Romania’s Alexandru Manole succeeded in Bahrain. whilst Tunisia’s Omar Ammous reserved the top step of the medal podium in Algeria.
All are present in Indore, experience of winning counts but for whom will it count?