by Ian Marshall, Editor
Perhaps not the result Youssef Abdel-Aziz had hoped would be the outcome in the Argentine capital city; nevertheless for the 18 year old, it has been a most successful year.
He emerged the winner of the Junior Boys’ Singles event at the African Youth Games in Algiers, whilst in Abidjan, not only did he emerge victorious at the African Junior and Cadet Championships, he reserved the top step of the podium at the Ivory Coast Junior and Cadet Open.
Furthermore, on the senior stage he has enjoyed success; at the ITTF African Senior Championships in Mauritius, he partnered colleague Khalid Assar to Men’s Doubles gold.
In Sharm El-Sheikh, Youssef Abdel-Aziz starts the clear favourite; there is no player who can match his record. The nearest is compatriot Ahmed Elborhamy, the player he beat in the final of the Ivory Coast Junior and Cadet Open; he is the no.3 seed behind Marwan Abdelwahab, also from Egypt. Earlier this year he competed in both Oman and Tunisia but did not reach the later rounds.
Also from the host nation, Abdelrahman Dendan, Amar Attia and Ziad Elshawa appear amongst the top eight names. It is for Abdelrahman Dendan, the no.5 seed, his first appearance of the year in an ITTF World Junior Circuit tournament, for Amar Attia, the no.7 seed and Ziad Elshawa, the no.8 seed, each competed in Oman, each reached the quarter-final round.
Egypt very much in evidence; from foreign shores India’s Raegan Alburquerque and Sweden’s Oskar Danielsson lead the challenge. Both are much travelled. In addition to his home nation, Oskar Danielsson has competed in Oman, Jordan and Paraguay; Raegan Alburquerque has travelled to Hong Kong, Chinese Taipei, Croatia and most pertinently Canada, where he reached the Junior Boys’ Singles quarter-finals.
A challenge from India and Sweden; there is also a challenge in the Junior Boys’ Singles event from China. Making their debuts on the international stage, the names of 15 year old Ding Shixian, alongside Chi Haowen and Han Yunqi both 13 years old, appear on the entry list.
Play commences with the Junior Boys’ Team and Cadet Boys’ Team events. Youssef Abdel-Aziz, Marwan Abdelwahab and Abdelrahman Dendan form the top seeded trio in the Junior Boys’ Team competition; also from Egypt, Yehia Saad and Ziad Elshawa head Cadet Boys’ Team order of merit.