by Ian Marshall, Editor
A two day team event commences proceedings; Asia and Europe fielding players, who despite their young years, are well versed in the rigours of international play.
Sora Matsushima leads Asia
Japan’s Sora Matsushima leads Asia in the boys’ team event; the winner of the cadet boys’ singles title on the ITTF World Junior Circuit earlier this year in Hong Kong and the runner up in the Czech Republic, he lines up alongside Iran’s Navid Shams, Korea Republic’s Jang Seongil and India’s Payas Jain.
Significantly, Navid Shams was a cadet boys’ singles semi-finalist this year in Bahrain and France; Payas Jain won in Bahrain, before later in the year emerging the runner up in Ulaanbaator at the Asian Junior and Cadet Championship. Similarly Jang Seongil impressed in the Mongolian capital city; he concluded matters a cadet boys’ singles semi-finalists.
Kaho Akae the name to note
Similarly, in the girls’ team competition, Asia fields a prominent selection. Very much the player to note is Japan’s Khao Akae. On this year’s ITTF World Junior Circuit, she secured the cadet girls’ singles titles in the Czech Republic and Chinese Taipei, whilst being the runner up at the Asian Junior and Cadet Championships.
In Wladyslawowo, Kaho Akae is supported by Korea Republic’s Lee Yeonhui, India’s Yashawini Ghorpade and Singapore’s Zhou Jingyi. Notably this year in cadet girls’ singles events, Lee Yeonhui and Zhou Jingyi were respective semi-finalists in Thailand and Hong Kong, Yashawini Ghorpade the runner up in Bahrain.
European champions on view
Impressive selections; it is the same from the old continent, with gold medallists at this year’s European Youth Championships heading the order. In the boys’ team event, Romania’s Darius Movileanu is the top name, in the counterpart cadet girls’ team competition the honour is bestowed on colleague, Elena Zaharia.
Also successful on this year’s ITTF World Junior Circuit in Poland, Darius Movileanu joins forces with Belgium’s Louis Laffineur, Russia’s Denis Izumrudov and the Czech Republic’s Simon Belik; Elena Zaharia, the cadet girls’ singles runner up in Poland, is supported by Hungary’s Dorottya Tolgyes, Croatia’s Hana Arapovic and Russia’s Vlada Voronova.
ITTF World Junior Circuit success
Success for the Romanian duo in cadet events on this year’s ITTF World Junior Circuit, it is the same for their teammates in Wladyslawowo. Louis Laffineur won in Thailand having been the runner up in Italy, Denis Izumrudov succeed in the Czech Republic prior to reaching the penultimate round in Spain; not to be overshadowed, Simon Belik was a silver medallist in Bahrain.
Likewise for the girls, in the Czech Republic, Ana Arapovic was a semi-finalist, Dorottya Tolgyes a quarter-finalist. Meanwhile, Vlada Voronina won in Spain, before at the European Youth Championships experiencing defeat at the final hurdle when facing Elena Zaharia.
Sharing top spot
At the 2019 ITTF World Cadet Challenge, in the boys’ team event, Asia occupies the top seeded spot with Europe next on the list; in the girls’ competition it is the opposite scenario.
The final outcome, the same, vice versa or a major surprise; we wait in anticipation.