by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Manager
In Oman, fearless, at the quarter-final stage Amin Ahmadian beat China’s Liang Yanning (11-9, 12-10, 8-11, 11-7, 3-11, 9-11, 11-8), before losing to the latter’s colleague Xu Haidong (13-11, 11-5, 11-5, 10-12, 11-6). In turn, he fell at the final hurdle, beaten by Yuan Licen (11-5, 5-11, 11-8, 11-13, 13-11, 11-9, 11-9).
Later Ahmin Ahmadian was to win in Tunisia; Yuan Licen reached the semi-final stage in both Italy and Poland.
Both are major contenders for honours but face stern opposition. Kuang Li, 15 years old, also from China and the winner in Thailand, is the no.3 seed followed by Japan’s Kakeru Sone. Notably he was the runner up in the Czech Republic, a quarter-finalist in Sweden.
Most certainly Kuang Li is a name to note as are his compatriots Quan Kaiyuan and Cao Yantao. In Taicang, Quan Kaiyuan, a semi-finalist in Oman and a quarter-finalist in Thailand, is the no.5 seed; Cao Yantao, who reached the round of the last eight in both the Czech Republic and in Poland, is the no.8 seed.
Sandwiched in between are Japan’s Horoto Shinosuka and Panama’s Jacobo Vahnish. Notably Horoto Shinosuka was the runner up in Sweden; Jacobo Vahnish, like Kuang Li, only 15 years of age, progressed to the penultimate round in the Cook Islands.
Play commences with the team events; China represented by Quan Kaiyuan, Yuan Licen and Cao Yantao occupies the top seeded position in the Junior Boys’ Team competition; next in line is Iran’s Ahmed Ahmadian and Mohammed Mousavi Taher.
Similarly, in the Cadet Boys’ Team event; China heads the list with Han Xinyuan, Kuang Li and Tao Yuchang on duty. Iran represented by Radim Kayyam and Mohammad Amin Samadi form the second seeded contingent.