by Ian Marshall, Editor
Furthermore, potentially there could be a repeat of the 2019 final; Croatia’s Ivor Ban, the player Samuel Kulczycki beat to secure the title, is the no.2 seed.
Success last year in Hodonin; later in the year both made their presence felt. On the ITTF World Junior Circuit, Samuel Kulczycki won in Slovakia, having earlier in the year been a semi-finalist on home soil in Poland. Additionally, at the 2019 ITTF Challenge Polish Open, he reached the under 21 men’s singles semi-finals.
Likewise, Ivor Ban excelled. He was the runner up in Slovenia, before at the end of the year winning in Portugal.
Noteworthy performances on the 2019 ITTF World Junior Circuit, amongst the leading names on duty in Hodonin, Slovakia’s Adam Klajber, the no.6 seed, won in Slovenia; listed one place higher, colleague Felip Delincak was the runner up in Morocco.
Similarly, the Czech Republic’s Tomas Martinko, the no.4 seed, reached the semi-final round in Serbia, as did Italy’s John Oyebode in Poland and Belgium’s Nicolas Degros in Slovenia. In Hodonin, in the junior boys’ singles event, John Oyebode is the no.7 seed, Nicolas Degros next on the list. Impressive performances last year, it was the same from Poland’s Maciej Kubik, the no.3 seed; he was a quarter-finalist in Croatia.
Candidates for honours, for Maciej Kubik, undoubtedly that is the situation in the junior boys’ doubles event; he partners Samuel Kulczycki, they occupy the top seeded spot ahead of Filip Delincak and Adam Klajber.
Finalists in North Macedonia
Titles last year for leading names in the junior boys’ singles event; in the counterpart junior girls’ singles competition the player to enjoy success was Serbia’s Radmila Tominjak. In North Macedonia, she reserved the top step of the podium at the expense of colleague, Reka Bezeg; in Hodonin, Radmila Tominjak is the no.7 seed, Reka Bezeg, the no.8 seed.
Runners up spot for Reka Bezeg, for Romania’s Elena Zaharia, it was the same finish in Poland as it was for Russia’s Natalia Malinina in Serbia. At the Czech Junior and Cadet Open, Elena Zaharia is the no.4 seed, followed immediately by Natalia Malinina.
Impressive performances, in a similar vein Isa Cok of France, the no.2 seed, reached the semi-final stage in both Thailand and Serbia; a feat equalled by the Czech Republic’s Linda Zaderova, the no.6 seed, in Slovenia.
Noteworthy efforts, Italy’s Jamila Laurenti, the top seed in Hodonin and Darya Kisel, the no.3 seed, also attracted the attention. In Hungary Jamila Laurenti advanced to the quarter-finals, as in both Sweden and Croatia did Darya Kisel.
However, Jamila Laurenti does have a special liking for the Czech Republic; last year in Ostrava she was the runner up in the junior girls’ singles event at the European Youth Championships.
Prominent in the junior girls’ singles event, Darya Kisel and Jamila Laurenti are also prominent in the junior girls’ doubles; they occupy the top seeded position ahead of Isa Cok and French colleague, Helga Daria.
Play commences with the group stage of the junior boys’ singles and junior girls’ singles events; the top 16 players in each discipline receive a direct entry to the main draw.