by Wade Townsend
September is overflowing with table tennis goodness, so here is a quick guide for what to expect during the month.
England will play host to the first event in September as the young guns take the court for the 2017 Europe Youth Top 10. Romania looks set on dominating the tournament, with Adina Diaconu and Cristian Pletea the top seeds in the Girls’ and Boys’ Singles respectively. But look out for England’s Tom Jarvis; the no.7 seed will be looking to play off the home crowd to cause some upsets.
Next up we’re heading to Colombia for the ITTF-Panam Championships. With teams and singles during the week its going to be an action packed event with a lot of opportunities for new faces to burst on to the international scene. But Puerto Rico’s Adriana Diaz will be the star attraction as she looks set on defending her top seeding and solidify her herself as the leading name in the region.
After Colombia you’ll be back on plane towards Europe for the biggest event of the month. The 2017 ITTF-European Team Championships is heading to Luxembourg from 13-17 September. Some the hottest names in table tennis will be in action as national pride is at stake. Germany leads the charge in both the Men’s and Women’s events, but with that many top class players it is anyone’s tournament to win. For our European fans, get your country’s jersey on and paint a couple of flags on your face; it’s the time for tribal table tennis.
Meanwhile, the Croatia Junior & Cadet Open will be being played out on the ITTF Premium Junior Circuit as their senior peers are in action in Luxembourg.
As their counterparts in Europe head in to the latter stages of the Team Championships, on the other side of the world in Ahmedabad, the ITTF-ATTU Asian Cup will be kicking off. From 15-17 September players will be looking to qualify for a place at the Men’s and Women’s World Cup. Fan Zhendong and Jun Mizutani will headline the men’s action while Liu Shiwen and Miu Hirano lead the women’s lineup. Will Hirano be able to shock the Chinese contingent again?
The tail end of the month will see the ITTF Seamaster World Tour stopping in Linz for the Austrian Open. The penultimate Platinum event has attracted a majority of the top 50 ranked players in the world and will be a pressure cooker for some serious table tennis action. After the seniors will step aside for the Slovenia Junior & Cadet open from 20-24 September to round out the action.