by Ian Marshall, Editor
Impressively, Amin Ahmadian won in Hong Kong, Tai Ming-Wei succeeded on home soil, Huang Yu-Jen prevailed in Australia, notably accounting for Tai Ming-Wei in the title decider.
Silver medallist in Australia but is Tai Ming-Wei the favourite in Muscat? At the recently concluded 2019 ITTF Challenge Polish Open in Wladyslawowo, he reached the under 21 men’s singles semi-finals.
Clear of field
The trio is somewhat clear of the field in terms of ITTF World Junior Circuit success.
Saudi Arabia’s Khalid Al-Shareif, the no.4 seed, was a semi-finalist earlier this year in Ghana, Thibault Bailliet, the no.8 seed, reached the quarter-final round on home soil in France; as for Sweden’s Alve Sjoevold, Chinese Taipei’s Yang Zhu-Xing and Salem Alsuwailem, the players sandwiched in between, they have yet to reach the later rounds.
Appear amongst leading names
Significantly, Khalid Alshareif and Alve Sjoevold also appear amongst the leading names in the cadet boys’ singles event. Khalid Alshareif, who reached the semi-finals in Morocco and Ghana, is the no.4 seed; Alve Sjoevold, a quarter-finalist in Bahrain and El Salvador, is the no.2 seed behind Chinese Taipei’s Chang Yu-An, the runner up in Hong Kong.
Russia’s Sergey Ryzhov, a quarter-finalist in the Czech Republic and Spain is the no.3 seed.
Similarly, in the junior girls’ singles event, the top three names have all enjoyed ITTF World Junior Circuit success but two steps lower than their male counterparts. India’s Swastika Ghosh reached the penultimate round in Bahrain as did Chinese Taipei’s Cai Fong-En in Australia and colleague Hsu Yi-Chen on home turf.
The next in line, India’s Anusha Kutumbale, Chinese Taipei’s Lee Wan-Hsuan, Malematenia Papadimitriou from Greece have yet to assert themselves on the international scene, as have the other leading names, England’s Charlotte Bardsley and Suhana Saini, also from India.
Prominent in the junior girls’ singles event, Suhana Saini is the no.2 seed in the cadet girls’ singles competition.
A quarter-finalists earlier this year in Bahrain, she is next in line to Chinese Taipei’s Cheng Pu-Syuan, a semi-finalist in on home turf and in Thailand. Yet to make their mark, India’s Kvya Sree Basker and Chinese Taipei’s Liang Yuan-Ting complete the list of the most prominent names.
Play commences with the team events.