by Ian Marshall, Editor
Nigeria’s Azeez Solanke, the junior boys’ singles winner in both tournaments heads the order of merit in Sharm El-Sheikh; he is listed ahead of the Egyptian duo of Marwan Abdelwahab and Ahmed Elborhamy, Nigeria’s Emmanuel Augustine concludes the top four names.
Notably Marwan Abdelwahab was the player who experienced defeat at the hands of Azeez Solanke in the African Championships junior boys’ singles final. Meanwhile, Ahmed Elborhamy was a semi-finalist, Emmanuel Augustine, a quarter-finalist. Additionally, on this year’s ITTF World Junior Circuit, Ahmed Elborhamy was a quarter-finalist in Bahrain, in Accra Emmanuel Augustine advanced to the penultimate round.
Favourites for repeat success; however, in the junior girls’ singles event, for Egypt’s Sara Elhakem and Hend Fathy, the respective winners and runners up at the African Youth, Junior and Cadet Championships, life may well prove more exacting.
Hend Fathy is the no.2 seed, Sara Elhakem the no.4 seed; the top seed is Chinese Taipei’s Tsai Yu-Chin, the no.3 seed is Russia’s Ekaterina Zoronova. Earlier this year on the ITTF World Junior Circuit Tsai Yu-Chin was the runner up in Belgium, a semi-finalist in Spain; arguably more significantly Ekaterina Zironova is the defending champion.
Names to note, next in line is the host nation’s Hana Goda who is also the top seed in the cadet girls’ singles event; she is a major contender for a podium finish on both fronts. Earlier this year she was a junior girls’ singles and cadet girls’ singles semi-finalist in Bahrain, as well emerging the cadet girls’ singles winner at the African Youth, Junior and Cadet Championships.
Next on the cadet girls’ singles order of merit is compatriot Farida Badawy, the player beaten by Hana Goda in the Accra final.
Head of list
Egypt at the top of list, in the cadet boys’ singles event, the nation at the head of the order is Saudi Arabia. Khalid Alshareif is the name in question. Runner up one year ago, in addition this year he was semi-finalist in Bahrain, a quarter-finalist in Thailand. He is followed in Sharm El-Sheikh by Nigeria’s Jamiu Ayanwale, the runner in the cadet boys’ singles event at both the African Youth, Junior and Cadet Championships as well as at the Ghana Junior and Cadet Open.
Play commences in Sharm El-Sheikh with the team events. Abayomi Animasahun and Azeez Solanke head the junior boys’ team seeding; the outfit at the top of the girls’ team order of merit is that of Egypt’s Hend Fathy, Alaa Yehia and Sara Elhakem.
The combination of Khalid Alshareif and Poland’s Mlosz Sawczak occupy the cadet boys’ team seeding, for the girls it is Hana Goda and colleague Melisa Belache.