Belated Present One Year Ago, Same Again One Year Later
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Belated Present One Year Ago, Same Again One Year Later but Different Name?

Belated Present One Year Ago, Same Again One Year Later but Different Name?
ITTF-North America Cup

Courtesy of ITTF

Sensationally one year ago Kanak Jha won the Men’s Singles title at the ITTF-North America Cup when staged in Burnaby, a city to the east of Vancouver on the far west coast of Canada.

He emerged successful just week after his 14th birthday. Now in Markham, a city within the Greater Toronto area, some 2,700 miles to the east, a 40 hour drive, Kanak Jha defends his title.

At the 2015 ITTF-North America Cup staged in the venue that will host the table tennis events at the forthcoming Pan Am Games, he is the no.3 seed.

Former Winner
Timothy Wang, also from the United States, is the top seed with the host nation’s Pierre-Luc Theriault being next in line.

The powerful left hander is the one other player on duty who is a previous winner of the title; he won in 2012 when the tournament was also stage in Mississauga.

Competed in Moscow
Occupying the fifth seeded position in the Men’s Singles event is the experienced Jim Butler, now 44 years old; in the order of merit he is one place ahead of Canada’s Xavier Therien in the seeding.

Xavier Therien has never won the ITTF-North America Cup but in 2009 he won the Men’s Singles title at the North American Championships, six years ago that was the passport to the Men’s World Cup.

He played in Moscow later in the year at the Liebherr Men’s World Cup finishing in third place in the Intercontinental Cup behind Brazil’s Cazuo Matsumoto and Nigeria’s Quadri Aruna.

Impressive Performance
All are contenders for honors in Markham; there is no clear favorite but could one young man emulate the feats of Kanak Jha and enjoy success a few days after his birthday?

At the recently concluded Butterfly 2015 Canadian Junior and Cadet Open, Jack Wang partnered Kanak Jha to success in the Junior Boys’ Team event, the title was secured on Wednesday May 12th; a notable date it was Jack Wang’s 15th birthday.

Jack Wang impressed and he impressed even more in the Junior Boys’ Singles event later in the week, he beat Kanak Jha at the quarterfinal stage before progressing to overcome Kunal Chodri, also from the United States, one round later before Zhang Kai ended progress. He is the no.6 seed in the ITTF-North America Cup.

Krishnateja Avvari
Equally Kunal Chodri is on duty in Markham, he is the no.7 seed with his colleague, Krishnateja Avvari being the no.8 seed.

Notably at the Butterfly 2015 ITTF World Tour Canadian Junior and Cadet Open, it was Krishnateja Avvari who gave Zhang Kai the greatest problems. At the semi-final stage of the Junior Boys’ Singles event, he extended the champion elect the full seven games distance only losing by the minimal two point margin in the deciding seventh.

Qualification
However, none of the top eight seeds is required to play on the opening day; they receive a direct entry to the main draw in an event which sees 22 players in action.

The remaining 14 players compete in four groups with the players finishing in first and second places advancing to the main draw which witnesses an opening round of 16 players.

Women’s Event
Meanwhile, in the Women’s Singles event, all 15 players compete in the first stage; the players finishing in first and second places in each of the four groups advance to the quarterfinals.

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