by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor
In a most imposing manner Maki Shiomi, who celebrated her 17th birthday on Friday 12th May, reached the final of the first three tournaments of the year; she won in the Czech Republic and in Sweden, whilst sandwiched in between she was the runner up in France.
She is member of quite incredible generation of young female players currently striving for a place in the national team. Miu Hirano, Mima Ito and Hina Hayata are all in the same age group as are Ayano I, Mitsuho Kimura, Kasumi Kimura and Asuka Sasao, the four players who completed the semi-final line-up at the recently concluded SET 2017 Thailand Junior and Cadet Open in Bangkok.
Next on the list in Platja d’Aro is Daria Trigolos of Belarus followed by Thailand’s Jinnipa Sawettabut and Russia’s Kristina Kasantseva.
Jinnipa Sawettabut was in action on home soil in Bangkok but departed proceedings in round two of the Junior Girls’ Singles event, beaten by Ayano I; Spain will be her second ITTF World Junior Circuit appearance of the year.
Meanwhile, for Kristina Kasantseva, she will be in action for the third time this year; for Daria Trigolos it will be her first. In the Czech Republic Kristina Kasantseva departed proceedings in the opening round but in Sweden advanced to the semi-finals, progress behind halted by Maki Shiomi.
An impressive performance from Kristina Kasantseva in Sweden; it was the same from Daria Trigolos at the Luxembourg Open where she reached the quarter-final stage of the Women’s Singles event before at the ITTF Challenge Zagreb Open advancing to the Women’s Doubles final in harness with colleague Nadezhda Bogdanova.
Anastasia Kolish, also from Russia, alongside Chinese Taipei’s Wen Rue-Ling, Croatia’s Andrea Pavlovich and Japan’s Yuka Minagawa complete the top eight names in the Junior Girls’ Singles event.
Notably Anastasia Kolish reached the third round of the Women’s Singles event in Luxembourg losing to Daria Trigolos; on the ITTF World Junior Circuit, Andrea Pavlovich was a quarter-finalist in Italy, a semi-finalist in Belgium.
Wen Rue-Ling and Yuka Minagawa have yet to make a mark on this year’s international scene.