by Ian Marshall, Editor
She is one of four players on duty to have won an ITTF World Junior Girls’ Singles title this year; Poland’s Anna Wegrzyn, the no.3 seed, was the winner in Canada, as well as being a semi-finalist in both Belgium and Poland.
Also from Chinese Taipei, Fang Sih-Han won in August in El Salvador. Likewise, China’s Zuo Yue emerged successful in Spain. Both are listed outside the leading names. Presently on the Under 18 Girls’ World Rankings, Fang Sih-Han is at no.61, Zuo Yue is at no.200.
They are contenders for gold but note the name of Zuo Yue’s compatriot Kuai Man, Junior Girls’ Singles semi-finalist on home soil in Taicang; she could well finish amongst the medallists, in the Cadet Girls’ Singles event where she is the hot favourite. Currently she is named at no.180 on the Under 18 Girls’ World Rankings but at the recent Asian Junior and Cadet Championships in Myanmar; she won the Cadet Girls’ Singles event. The effect is that she now appears at no.4 on the Under 15 Girls’ World Rankings, as opposed the no.22 spot she occupied in August.
Success at the Asian Junior and Cadet Championships, similarly, in July, Egypt’s Marwa Alhodhaby secured the top prize in the Women’s Singles event at the 2018 African Youth Games in Algiers. She is the no.2 seed and like four further players in action in Varazdin is destined for the forthcoming Buenos Aires 2018 Youth Olympic Games, now less than a month away.
In addition to Anna Wegrzyn, Thailand’s Jinnipa Sawttabut, Germany’s Franziska Schreiner and the host nation’s Andrea Pavlovic are all bound for the Argentine capital city, all have come so near yet so far to winning an ITTF World Junior Circuit Girls’ Singles title this year. Jinnipa Sawettabut was the runner up in Oman, as was Franziska Sheiner in Canada and Andrea Pavlovic in Tunisia.
Russia’s Kristina Kazantseva and Ekaterina Zironova complete the top eight names; the best for each this year is a quarter-final exit, both achieved the finish in Sweden as also did Ekaterna Zironova in Italy.
A total of 92 players compete in the Junior Girls’ Singles event in Varazdin.