by Ian Marshall, Editor
Notably, earlier this year, Lev Katsman won in Bahrain, before being a semi-finalist in Italy; similarly Samuel Kulczycki, who last year had succeeded in Slovakia, added to his collection of honours by securing the top prize in the Czech Republic.
Equally, Maksim Grebnev, the no.3 seed in Metz has been in form; he reached the semi-final stage in both the Czech Republic and in Italy. Furthermore, partnering colleague, Lev Katsman, silver medallists at the 2018 World Junior Championships in Bendigo, the duo tops the junior boys’ doubles seeding. They are listed one place ahead of a pair on whom eyes will focus, the host nation’s Lilian Bardet and Vincent Picard.
Similarly, Lilian Bardet features prominently in the junior boys’ singles event as does colleague, Dorian Zheng. A semi-finalist last year in Hungary, beaten by Lev Katsman in February in the Bahrain final, Lilian Bardet is the no.6 seed. He is one place ahead of Dorian Zeng, a quarter-finalist last year in Hungary, a semi-finalist two months ago in Bahrain.
Sandwiched in between Maksim Grebnev and Lilian Bardet, appear the names of Iran’s Amin Ahmadian and Germany’s Kay Stumper. Last year Amin Ahmadian, the no.4 seed, reached the semi-final round in Jordan; the stage to which Kay Stumper, the no.5 seed, advanced in Hong Kong; notably this year Kay Stumper was a quarter-finalist in Italy.
Contenders for honours most certainly but note the name that completes the top eight, Japan’s Takeru Kashiwa, the runner up last year in Slovakia, could well influence matters.
Play commences with the junior boys’ singles and junior boys’ doubles events.