14 Feb 2020

The winner one year ago, on Thursday 13th February Poland’s Samuel Kulczycki retained his junior boys’ singles title at the 2020 ITTF World Junior Circuit Premium Czech Junior and Cadet Open in Hodonin.

Furthermore, he thoroughly justified his top seeded position and if had not been for Japan’s 11 year old Miwa Harimoto winning the counterpart junior girls’ singles title, he would have been the star name.

by Ian Marshall, Editor

Success but it was hard fought success; in the third round he was stretched the full distance by the host nation’s Frantisek Onderka (11-6, 10-12, 11-5, 9-11, 11-9, 9-11, 11-6), before in the penultimate round enduring the same experience.

In an even closer contest he ended the hopes of Romania’s Eduard Ionescu (9-11, 9-11, 11-6, 11-4, 12-10, 9-11, 13-11); a surprise semi-finalist. Required to qualify, notably in the second round, Eduard Ionescu had beaten Belgium’s Nicolas Degros, the no.8 seed (7-11, 13-15, 11-3, 11-9, 11-7, 4-11, 11-4).

Closer than may suggest

Tense contests, just as in the quarter-final round when overcoming Italy’s Andrea Puppo, the no.12 seed (9-11, 11-5, 11-8, 11-8, 11-4) and surprise third round winner against Slovakia’s Filip Delincak, the no.5 seed (11-8, 11-8, 12-10, 11-7), Samuel Kulczycki experienced no great moments of drama in the final.

However the outcome was arguably closer than the straight games result may suggest. He beat colleague Maciej Kubik, the no.3 seed, in contest that proved a credit to both players (18-16, 12-10, 11-6, 13-11).

Maciej Kubik a most worthy runner up (Photo: Jan Brychta)


Earlier, in the penultimate round Maciej Kubik had ended the aspirations of Israeli qualifier, Tal Israeli (11-4, 11-3, 7-11, 8-11, 11-7, 11-6), the second round winner against Croatia’s Ivor Ban (11-8, 12-14, 15-17, 12-10, 5-11, 11-9, 11-6).

More Polish success

Success for Poland, it was the same in the boys’ doubles, the top step of the podium was secured but the names were not Samuel Kulczycki or Maciej Kubik; Milosz Redzimski and Lukasz Sokolowski emerged the victors. At the final hurdle they beat Andrea Puppo and Italian colleague, Marco Cappuccio (9-11, 11-8, 11-6, 12-10).

Impressive from Milosz Redzimski and Lukasz Sokolowski, it was the same in the junior girls’ doubles for the partnership formed by Italy’s Jamila Laurenti and Darya Kisel of Belarus. The top seeds, they clinched the title at the final expense of the pairing comprising Ireland’s Sophie Earley and Anna Hussey of Wales (11-4, 10-12, 12-10, 11-8).

The junior girls’ doubles medallists (left to right) Darya Kisel, Jamila Laurenti, Sophie Earley and Anna Hursey (Photo: Jan Brychta)


Individual events complete, attention now turns the team competitions.

World Junior Circuit 2020 Czech Junior & Cadet Open Samuel Kulczycki

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