by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor
However, the player whose name appears on the entry list to catch the eye this year is that of 16 year old Frenchman, Bastian Rembert.
Competing on home soil in February in the city of Metz, he excelled expectations to win the Junior Boys’ Singles event at the French Junior and Cadet Open; very much he announced his arrival. The following week in Sweden, he was not able to repeat the performance but he performed creditably. He departed proceedings in round three.
In Spa he is the no.4 seed in the Junior Boys’ Singles event; India’s Manav Vikash Thakkar occupies the no.2 seeded position with Jules Rolland, the next in line.
Both Manav Vikash Thakkar and Jukes Rolland have impressed this year, as has the host nation’s Laurens Devos, the no.5 seed and gold medallist in Men’s Singles Class 9 at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games.
Notably in his native India, Manav Vikash Thakkar reached the quarter-final round of the Boys’ Singles event at the ITTF World Junior Circuit Finals staged in late January in Indore.
Similarly Bastien Rembert progressed to the third round of the Junior Boys’ Singles in Sweden, whilst in France Laurens Devos was in form; he reached the quarter-finals.
Worthy performances but none this year can match Bastien Rembert; arguably he starts the favourite in Spa.
The Junior Boys’ Singles event commences play at the 2017 Belgian Junior and Cadet Open.