by Ian Marshall, Editor
A third round exit in Italy when beaten by China’s Zeng Beixun but otherwise this year, Vincent Picard has always reached the latter stages. Most notably he won in Poland; he was a semi-finalist in both Bahrain and on home soil in France, a quarter-finalist in the Czech Republic.
He is listed ahead of Slovakia’s Filip Delincak and Adam Klajber, both are players who have yet to make their mark on the international scene; Algeria’s Abdelbasset Chaichi, bronze medallist last year on home soil at the African Youth Games, completes the top four names.
Impressive in Algiers but the name to note in the African challenge for honours is that of Nigeria’s Taiwo Mati; in the junior boys’ singles event he is the no.7 seed, behind Azzeddine Lazazi, like Abdelbasset Chaichi from Algeria. However, most significantly he is the top seed in the cadet boys’ singles competition.
Earlier this year in April, he excelled at the Ghana Junior and Cadet Open as well as at the African Youth, Junior and Cadet Championships. In both tournaments he won the cadet boys’ singles title.
He is listed ahead of Slovakia’s Jakub Goldir and Saudi Arabia’s Khalid Alshareif, both players who this year have advanced to ITTF World Junior Circuit cadet boys’ singles semi-finals; Jakub Goldir in Bahrain, Khalid Alshareif in Ghana. The Czech Republic’s Matya Lebeda completes the top four names, his most noteworthy performance being a quarter-final finish last year in Estonia.
Play commences with the team events, the individual events commence on Friday 14th June.