by Ian Marshall, Editor
The highest rated, most importantly of the principal names on duty, he is the most successful, the one this year with an ITTF World Junior Circuit boys’ singles title to his credit. After having won last year in Slovakia, some three months ago, he emerged successful in the Czech Republic.
“Last year I won a similar tournament in Slovakia and this season I was the best in the Czech Republic. I must admit that in Hodonin, I won against European rivals, which I had defeated earlier. Of course first place is always a success but actually I did what was right for me. I hope that I will play well and compete in front of my own audience in Wladyslawowo, I feel confident, thanks to good preparation.”
Samuel Kulczycki has impressed and he has impressed two notable experienced compatriots, Leszek Kucharski and Lucjan Błaszczyk; both clearly delighted with the progress that has been made.
“Kulczycki and Kubik have made great progress in the last year, which was confirmed by their successful performances in the Polish LOTTO Superliga and the selection for senior representation for the ITTF international competitions. It is important that we have such players in Poland as Samuel Kulczycki, Maciej Kubik and Miłosz Redzimski. Understandably, Jakub Dyjas is the clear leader of the younger generation.” Leszek Kucharski
“Samuel Kulczycki plays stylishly just like players who are successful in modern table tennis; that is, strength, fast and strong, he attacks forehand and backhand on both sides, he can also defend. The new balls match his game, there is less rotation and more strength on impacts.” Lucian Błaszczyk
Most worthy performances, the record of Samuel Kulczycki is ahead of his rivals in Wladyslawowo.
Germany’s Kay Stumper was the runner up in Sweden, a fate that also befell Frenchman Lilian Bardet in Bahrain and more recently, earlier this month, Italy’s Carlo Rossi in Spain. In Wladyslawowo, Kay Stumper is the no.2 seed, followed by Lilian Bardet; Carlo Rossi is the no.8 seed.
Undoubtedly Lilian Bardet, who in 2017 won in Belgium, is a major candidate for a place on the podium, as is his colleague, Vincent Picard, the no.4 seed; earlier this year he was the runner up in both Bahrain and on home soil in Metz.
Meanwhile, for Sweden’s Martin Friis, Hungary’s Csaba Andras and Uladzislau Rukliatsou of Belarus, they have yet this year to reserve a junior boys’ singles podium finish. Notably in Spain, earlier this month, Uladzislau Rukliatsou came close; he reached the quarter-final round.
Most worthy competitors this year but without advancing to the medal matches, the situation is similar amongst the leading names in the cadet boys’ singles event; Germany’s Mike Hollo is the top seed followed by the Romanian trio of Iulian Chirita, Darius Movileanu and Andrei Tomica.
Semi-finalist at the 2018 European Youth Championships, this year Mike Hollo advanced to the quarter-final stage in Sweden, the same round as Iulian Chirita reached in France and Italy. Likewise, Darius Movileanu was a quarter-finalist in Italy, as was Andrei Tomica in France. Notably, the most successful on Wladyslawowo duty is Slovakia’s Jakub Goldir, the no.6 seed, he progressed to the penultimate round in Bahrain.
Play commences in Wladyslawowo with the junior boys’ singles and junior boys’ doubles events, the champions being anointed on Thursday 23rd May.