by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Manager
In form one year ago, Bastien Rembert has also displayed good form this year; in February, he emerged successful at the Road to Buenos Aires 2018 Youth Olympic Games tournament.
Arguably of the French trio, Bastien Rembert is the most successful on the ITTF World Junior Circuit; last year, in addition to his home soil success, he was the runner up in both Belgium and Poland. Similarly in 2017 Irvin Bertrand secured the second step of the podium in Hungary, whilst for Jules Rolland, his best was earlier this year in Italy when he advanced to the quarter-final round.
However, for all concerned, it will take a major effort to gain a podium finish in Metz.
China’s Xu Haidong, earlier this year the runner up in Oman before winning in Italy, is the top seed, colleague Xu Yingbin, a semi-finalist in the Czech Republic is the no.4 seed. Sandwiched in between are Chinese Taipei’s Feng Yi-Hsin and Li Hsing-Yang; both are making their first ITTF World Junior Circuit appearances of the year.
No doubt both have the goal of reaching the end of year programme, the ITTF World Junior Circuit Finals, an event in which each has a pedigree of success. Earlier this year Feng Yi-Hsin reached the quarter-final stage of the 2017 ITTF World Junior Circuit Finals in Luxembourg, the previous year, Li Hsing-Yang was the winner when the tournament was staged in the Indian city of Indore.
Meanwhile, completing the top eight names is that of Chile’s Nicolas Burgos, the 2017 South American Junior Boys’ Singles champion and en route to the Buenos Aires 2018 Youth Olympic Games; just under one year ago booked his place in the Argentine capital city by emerging victorious at the Latin American qualification tournament in the Dominican Republic.
The top eight names receive direct entries to the main draw.