by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Manager
The success came after, at the preceding ITTF World Junior Circuit tournament in Paraguay, he had finished in runners up spot in the Junior Boys’ Singles event; earlier in the year, he had progressed to the quarter-finals in Oman.
On home soil he is the no.7 seed, the top seed is the man in the form, India’s Manav Vikash Thakkar; on the eve of the tournament he won the Men’s Singles event at the Road to Buenos Aires 2018 – tournament qualification. Pertinently, earlier in the year he was the runner up in Luxembourg at the 2017 ITTF World Junior Circuit Finals.
Next in line to Manav Vikash Thakkar is China’s Xu Yingbin, he is followed by the French pairing of Irvin Bertrand and Bastien Rembert.
Previously this year Xu Yingbin was a semi-finalist in both the Czech Republic and France; for Irvin Bertrand and Bastien Rembert they have yet to shine.
Bastien Rembert, who emerged successful in February in Hodonin at the Road to Buenos Aires 2018 Youth Olympic Games qualification tournament has yet to really shine on this year’s ITTF World Junior Circuit. The best to date is a quarter-final finish on home soil in Metz. It is a similar situation for Irvin Bertrand, the no.3 seed and for colleague Jules Rolland, the no.5 seed; the best this year for Irvin Bertrand is a round four finish in Italy, for Jules Rolland, the round of the last eight in Italy.
Perhaps the performances of the French trio have not yet lived up to expectations; certainly that is not the situation for Iran’s Amin Ahmadian. The no.6 seed, he was the winner earlier in the year in Tunisia accounting for India’s Manush Utpalbhai Shah in the final. In Bangkok Manush Utpalbhai Shah is the no.8 seed.