by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor
The Chinese trio of Wang Manyu, Chen Xingtong and Gu Yuting immediately catches the eye.
Wang Manyu, the runner up earlier this year in Qatar and a semi-finalist in Japan, won the Girls’ Singles title at the World Junior Championships in both 2014 in Shanghai and the following year in La Roche sur Yon.
Additionally, in both tournaments, alongside Chen Xingtong, she was a member of the successful outfit that won the Girls’ Team event, whilst in Shanghai she emerged as the Girls’ Doubles winner in harness with Liu Guoliang, the Mixed Doubles with Wang Chuqin.
Likewise Gu Yuting won the Girls’ Singles title at the 2013 World Junior Championships in Rabat, having secured gold at the Singapore 2010 Youth Olympic Games.
Also, competing in the qualification stage of the Women’s Singles event is Japan’s Misaki Morizono; at the 2006 ITTF World Cadet Challenge in Vrsac, Serbia, she was a member of the successful Japanese Girls’ Team whilst also winning the Girls’ Singles event.
Notably at the same tournament, Chinese Taipei’s Chiang Hung-Chieh won the Boys’ Singles event at the ITTF World Junior Circuit Finals, having one year earlier in the Austrian city of Linz won the Boys’ Doubles title in harness with Huang Sheng-Sheng at the 2005 World Junior Championships.
Furthermore, England’s Paul Drinkhall, like Chiang Hung-Chieh on duty in the qualification tournament in Gold Coast, led England to victory in the Boys’ Team event at the 2005 ITTF World Cadet Challenge.
However, there is one player on duty in the qualification tournament with whom nobody can compare; nobody can compare with the host nation’s Trent Carter.
It is not because he won the Boys’ Singles title at the 2007 Venezuelan Junior Open or the following year because he won the Men’s Singles title at the Oceania Championships.
The reason is because in 2006 he set a world record in Christchurch, New Zealand; he set a record “Hang Time Maximum Time Aloft” of 54.5 seconds at the World Boomerang World Championships!