by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor
Notably in 2016 she made no less than nine appearances on the ITTF World Junior Circuit, on three of those occasions she secured a place on the podium at the close of proceedings.
The pinnacle was in Qatar when she emerged as the Junior Girls’ Singles champion; in Bahrain she reached the semi-final round as most pertinently she did in Egypt. Now, one year later the task is the climb two rungs higher.
Furthermore, there is a second goal, currently she is listed at no.29 (1,100 points) on the ITTF World Junior Circuit Girls’ Standings; she is on the brink of a place in the Finals to be staged next year in early February in Luxembourg. Having competed in Tunisia, Belgium and Slovenia, she has already met the basic criteria of competing in two continents in order to qualify for the prestigious event.
She qualified in 2016 when she ended the year in eighth place; her best of the current year is a quarter-final finish in Tunisia, equalling last year’s finish may prove a step too far but success in Sharm El-Sheikh will be a massive boost to her aspirations of a Luxembourg invitation.
Meanwhile, for Selena Selvakumar’s major challengers, the quest is to end the year as the leading player from Africa; each continent is eligible to represented by at least one player in each of the Boys’ Singles and Girls’ Singles events at the Finals.
Presently the leading African names are Egypt’s Marwa Alhodaby and Tunisia’s Fadwa Garcia. They share the no.180 spot (160 points) on the Standings published following the Slovenia Junior and Cadet Open. Fadwa Garci having already competed in France, Italy and on home soil in Tunisia has already met the two continent appearance criteria; Marwa Alhodaby who was on duty recently on Croatia and Slovenia will meet the requirement by playing in Sharm El-Sheikh.
Marwa Alhodaby is the no.2 seed followed immediately by twin sister Mariam Alhodaby, Yoma Sorour and Sarah Abousetta, likewise both from Egypt are the next in line. Nigeria’s Esther Oribamise, Malamentina Papadimitriou of Greece and Fadwa Garci complete the top eight names.
All are player who have international experience but have yet to shine on the ITTF World Junior Circuit; in Sharm El-Sheikh there is the window of opportunity.