by Ian Marshall, Editor
Now the 14th edition, without a break, is celebrated; the competition being first held from Thursday 11th to Sunday 14th August 2005, when a player of a similar style to the Canadian, a left handed attacking player, won the Junior Boys’ Singles, a certain teenager from the Portuguese island of Madeira, Marcos Freitas.
The win recorded by Marcos Freitas meant that he climbed to second spot on the ITTF World Junior Circuit Boys’ Standings; the player at the head of the list was another left hander who progressed to great heights, Japan’s Jun Mizutani.
It is in those footsteps that Jeremy Hazin treads and if he is tread, then a good performance in the small Central American country’s capital city of San Salvador could provide the confidence boost that he needs.
Always he is competitive; the quest is to make the next step. At the 2017 Pan American Junior Championships in Burnaby he reached the semi-final stage of the Junior Boys’ Singles event; earlier this year he was a quarter-finalists when the tournament was staged in the Dominican Republic.
Equally on this year’s ITTF World Junior Circuit, having competed in Tunisia, Thailand, the Czech Republic and his native Canada, he has just fallen short; through the early stages but not able to reach the later rounds.
It is somewhat the same for colleague Alexander Bu, the no.5 seed, who was on duty on home soil earlier this year in Markham. He has yet to make his mark, as has Chinese Taipei’s Tai Ming-Wei, the no.2 seed; this year on the ITTF World Junior Circuit he has competed in France, Poland, Hong Kong and Jordan but has yet to reach a quarter-final.
Certainly Tai Ming-Wei is a name to note; also one must heed that of Kao Min-Chi, the no.4 seed, who is making his first ITTF World Junior Circuit appearance of the year. However, the name to note it that of their colleague, not listed amongst the leading names, Wang Chen-You. He could well make a major impact. Earlier this year in Belgium and Hong Kong, he reached the quarter-finals.
Meanwhile, flying the flag for Latin America, Puerto Rico’s Angel Naranjo, just over 18 months old when the first ever El Salvador Junior and Cadet Open was staged; he recently qualified for the 2018 ITTF World Cadet Challenge to be staged later this year in Tottori, Japan. He is the no.3 seed in the Junior Boys’ Singles event and at the top of the Cadet Boys’ Singles order of merit.
Also in action for the host continent in the Junior Boys’ Singles event is the Dominican Republic’s Pedro Cabrera alongside Trinidad and Tobago’s Luc O’Young and the host country’s Oscar Villalta. They complete the top eight seeded names.