by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor
Notably the top four names on duty in Varazdin are all in contention for invitations to the Grand Duchy; furthermore, all have completed the basic two minimum continent appearance criteria.
Chinese Taipei’s Su Pei-Ling and Chen Ting-Ting could potentially assure themselves of a place in the Finals. Chen Ting-Ting, earlier in the year the runner up in Slovakia and more recently a semi-finalist in Hong Kong, is named at no.9 (1,771 points) on the Standings; Su Pei-Ling, the player who beat Chen Ting-Ting in the Slovakia final, is at no.11 (1,614 points).
In Varazdin, Su Pei-Ling is the no.2 seed, Chen Ting-Ting is the no.4 seed.
Top of the list is Thailand’s Jinnipa Sawettabut with Amy Wang of the United States the no.3 seed. Presently on the ITTF World Junior Circuit Girls’ Standings, Jinnipa Sawettabut is listed at no.29 (996 points) and is on the fringe of one of the top 16 places; her best of the year being a quarter-final finish in Jordan and Hong Kong.
However, for Amy Wang, the winner in June in Argentina, the situation is somewhat different; she is listed at no.12 (1,450 points) and is the leading player from North America. Each continent is eligible to be represented by at least one player in the Girls’ Singles event at the Finals; a penultimate round finish in Varazdin would all but seal the deal.
Similarly, Japan’s 13 year old Satsuki Odo, named at no.15 (1,322 points) on the Girls’ Standings, could press her claim, as could Wong Chin Yau, standing at no.21 (1,234 points). Both have already competed in two continents.
Both have competed in two continents, their best being the penultimate round; Wong Chun Ting reached the semi-finals in France, Satsuki Odo in Slovakia.
The problem for each is that a national association is limited to two players in the Finals; at the moment Wong Chin Yau is the third listed player from Chinese Taipei behind Chen Ting-Ting and Su Pei-Ling, Satsuki Odo is the sixth in the Japanese order of merit. However, there is ray of hope for Satsuki Odo; of her higher listed colleagues only Miyu Nagasaki and Yumeno Soma have met the two continent criteria.
In Varazdin, Wong Chin Yau is the no.6 seed, behind Russia’s Kristina Kazantseva. Satsuki Odo, the no.8 seed; sandwiched in between is Tsai Yu-China, also from Chinese Taipei.
It is for Tsai Yu-Chin her first ITTF World Junior Circuit appearance of the year, for Kristina Kazatseva, a semi-finalist in Sweden, it is her fourth; presently she is named at no.37 (768 points) on the Standings but has not competed outside Europe.
A total of no less than 96 players will compete in the Junior Girls’ Singles event in Varazdin.