by Ian Marshall, Editor
Supanut Wisutmaythangkoon is the no.5 seed in the men’s singles event; however if there is player in form it is his compatriot, Yanapong Panagitgun, the winner just one day ago of the junior boys’ singles title at the SET 2019 Thailand Junior and Cadet Open.
The 18 year old excelled expectations at the ITTF World Junior Circuit Golden Series tournament, an event that witnessed a strong Chinese entry; notably in the final, Yanapong Panagitun beat Liu Yebo to seal the title.
Now for the young man who has covered more miles than most competing on the international scene, the Challenge Series presents one step higher. First he has to qualify; he is not listed amongst the seeded names but if there is one player who surely enters the preliminary stages in confident mood, it is Yanapong Panagitun.
Moving to the next level; that is the task for Yanapong Panagitgun and it is very much the same for the host nation’s seeded players in the men’s singles competitions. Last year at the Seamaster 2019 ITTF Challenge Nigeria Open both Supanut Wisutmaythangkoon and Padasak Tanviriyavechakul impressed, Supanut Wisutmaythangkoon reached the semi-final stage; Padasak Tanviriyavechakul departed one round earlier.
At the Seamaster 2019 ITTF Challenge Thailand Open, Padasak Tanviriyavechakul is the no.9 seed; the one other Thai player seeded being Pattaratorn Passarsa, he is the no.28 seed and whilst not lacking in international experience, he has yet to make his mark.
Notably in the men’s doubles event, Padasak Tanviriyavechakul and Supanut Wisutmaythangkoon join forces; they are the no.3 seeds.
Meanwhile, in the women’s singles event, the situation is somewhat similar; the question posed for the leading host nation players is as to whether they can climb the next rung of the ladder.
At the Seamaster 2019 ITTF Challenge Thailand Open, in the women’s singles event Suthasini Sawettabut is the no.4 seed, the ever faithful Nanthana Komwong, the no.11 seed, Tamolwan Khetkhuan, the no.18 seed. Also amongst the seeded names from the host nation is Orawan Paranang, always competitive but yet to reach the later stages, she is the no.14 seed.
It is a severe test but is the best chance of gold for Thailand in the women’s doubles event?
Only on one occasion at an ITTF Challenge Series tournament, or on the ITTF World Tour, in any event, has Thailand struck gold; the occasion was last year on home soil in Bangkok when Orawan Paranang and Suthasini Sawettabut succeeded.
In the final they beat Japan’s Satsuki Odo and Saki Shibata; this year, Orawan Paranang and Suthasini Sawettabut occupy the no.3 seeded spot; the pairing of Satsuki Odo and Saki Shibata is listed one place higher.
Déjà vu a repeat in 2019?