by Ian Marshall, Editor
Currently he has no Under 18 Boys’ World Rankings but for the leading names on duty in Belgrade, he is a major threat.
India’s Manav Vikash Thakkar is the top seed, the winner last year on home soil and in Slovenia; although he has qualified for the ensuing Buenos Aires 2018 Youth Olympic Games, on this year’s ITTF World Junior Circuit, he has not fired on all cylinders. In three appearances, his best is a fourth round finish in the Czech Republic.
Next in line to Manav Vikash Thakkar are three players who this year have all enjoyed better fortunes. Singapore’s Pang Yew En Koen, is the no.2 seed followed by Thailand’s Yanapong Panagitgun and Manush Utpalbhai Shah, also from India. Notably Pang Yew En Koen won in the Cook Islands, whilst being the runner up on Chinese Taipei; Yanapong Panagitgun was the runner up Oman, as was Manush Utpalbhai Shah in both Jordan and Tunisia.
Notably, like Manav Vikash Thakkar, Pang Yew En Koen and Yanapong Panagitun will be in action next month at the Buenos Aires 2018 Youth Olympic Games.
Meanwhile, for Singapore’s Josh Shao Han Chua, the host nation’s Dimitrije Levajac, India’s Raegan Alburquerque and Belgium’s Olav Kosolosky, the players who complete the top eight names, there are still a few steps to be climbed.
The best for Josh Shao Han Chua on this year’s ITTF World Junior Circuit is a semi-final finish in Canada; for Dimitrije Levajac, who likewise has made five appearances, his best is a quarter-final exit in Tunisia. Somewhat similarly, Raegan Alburquerque was a quarter-finalist in Canada, for Olav Kosolowsky, his best a third round exit in Sweden; for both Raegan Alburquerque and Olav Kosolowsky, Belgrade will be their fifth ITTF World Junior Circuit appearances of the year.
A total of 81 players will compete in the Junior Boys’ Singles event in Belgrade.