by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor
Furthermore, they are the only two ITTF Challenge or ITTF World Tour tournaments on this year’s calendar to be held in the American continent.
India’s Soumyajit Ghosh and Romania’s Hunor Szocs appear as the leading names to date on the Men’s Singles entry list for the 2017 ITTF Challenge, Seamaster Chile Open; the overall tournament commencing with the qualification event on Wednesday 26th April.
The following week witnesses the 2017 ITTF Challenge, Seamaster Brazil Open which enjoys new state-of-the art facilities in São Paulo, proceedings are scheduled to commence on Wednesday 3rd May. Notably the names of the two players who top the Men’s Singles list in Chile, appear on the entry list but the name at the very top is that of the host nation’s Hugo Calderano.
Meanwhile, the names of Brazil’s Caroline Kumahara and Chile’s ever reliable Pauline Vega appear on both entry lists, whilst most notably Romania’s Bernadette Szocs makes the long journey to Brazil.
Understandably, the Rio 2016 Olympic Games very much to the fore; the most recent staging of the Brazil Open was in 2014 in Santos when China seized the opportunity to blood young players.
Liu Dingshuo who one year later won the Boys’ Singles title at the 2015 World Junior Championships in La Roche sur Yon, was crowned Men’s Singles champion; Liu Xin won the counterpart Junior Girls’ Singles crown.
Young aspiring seized the opportunity three years ago; the same chance awaits this year.