26 Oct 2018

Zhang Jike in 2002 in Tiszaujvaros, one year later in Genting, it was Ma Long, then in 2004 in Funchal the name to attract the attention was that of Xu Xin; they were the winners of the Boys’ Singles event at the first three editions of the ITTF World Cadet Challenge.

The rest as they say is history; they progressed to succeed at the highest possible levels. Now in Tottori, Japan, competition beginning in earnest at the 2018 ITTF World Cadet Challenge on Saturday 27th October with the Boys’ Team and Girls’ Team events, is there a young man on duty who may one day following in their footsteps?

by Ian Marshall, Editor

Note the name of their Chinese compatriot Zeng Beixun; this year he has displayed the attributes needed to one day become a player of the very highest order. Furthermore, his achievements exceed all others on duty in the Japanese coastal resort.

All players lose, accepted some less than others, no player in any sport is infallible unless you are Roy of the Rovers from the Beano comic book.

At the Asian Junior and Cadet Championships staged earlier this year in mid-August, in the Cadet Boys’ Team final, Zeng Beixun was beaten in his opening match against Japan by Hiroto Shinozuka. The fixture went the full five match distance; the overall score level at two matches apiece, Zeng Beixun faced Kazuki Hamada. At the vital time he responded, he succeeded, his vital win secured the title for China.

Later, he progressed to win the Cadet Boys’ Singles title; moreover, he upset the odds, he started matters as the no.14 seed.

Success in Myanmar, one month later in September it was success in Belgrade at the Serbia Junior and Cadet Open. Earlier in the year on the ITTF World Junior Circuit in February he had partnered Kuang Li to Cadet Boys’ Team gold in the Czech Republic.

However, in Serbia his efforts far outweighed those of earlier in the year. At the time listed at no.9 on the Under 15 Boys’ World Rankings but not named on the Under 18 list, he won the Junior Boys’ Singles title.

At the final hurdle he accounted for Thailand’s Yanapong Panagitgun, the no.2 seed, having en route most notably beaten Singapore’s Pang Yew En Koen, the top seed and India’s Manush Utpalbhai Shah, the no.3 seed.

The record speaks for itself, note the name of Zeng Beixun, in Tottori he is the player to beat.

2018 ITTF World Cadet Challenge Zeng Beixun

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Day 5 - 2018 World Cadet Challenge