by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Manager
Notably Maciej Kolodziejczyk is the one member of the group who has an ITTF World Junior Circuit Boys’ Singles title to his credit, last year he won in Italy but as yet this year has not been able to repeat the success; his best to date in four appearances is a quarter-final finish in Paraguay.
It is very much the same for Martin Bentancor and for Aoto Asazu; like Maciej Kolodziejczyk, they are making their fifth ITTF World Junior Circuit appearance of the year, as yet neither has advanced beyond the round of the last eight.
Martin Bentancor bid farewell in the quarter-final round in Paraguay as did Aoto Asazu in Sweden and also in Belgium. The aim for the 17 year old from the Land of the Rising Sun is to better the outcome of two years ago; at the 2016 Slovak Junior Open, he was the runner up.
The quarter-final stage this year has proved very much par for the course amongst the leading names on duty in the Junior Boys’ Singles event in Senec; the one exception is Eduardo Tomoike, he reached the semi-final round in Paraguay.
Otherwise, a podium finish has proved elusive. Runner up last year in Slovenia, Japan’s Takeru Kashiwa, the no.5 seed, is also making his fifth ITTF World Junior Circuit appearance of the year; his best to date in 2018, the round of the last eight in Sweden.
Likewise, the best for Germany’s Cédric Meissner, the no.6 seed, in three prior appearances, is the quarter-final round, the stage he reached in Sweden.
Meanwhile, for two players on whom eyes will focus, the end result has been no better; the host nation’s Jakub Zelinka and Stefan Peko complete the top eight names. The best for Jakub Zelinka is a quarter-final exit in Tunisia, for Stefan Peko and round three farewell in the Czech Republic.
In Senec there is a chance to prove a point, to exceed this year’s previous performances, to stand tall on the medal podium.