(by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor)
Kanak Jha, Maki Shiomi head Luxembourg list but history maker is Feng Yi-Hsin
Winner of no less than four titles on the 2017 ITTF World Junior Circuit, having been successful in the Czech Republic, Sweden, India and Spain, Japan’s Maki Shiomi heads the girls’ seeding for the forthcoming ITTF World Junior Circuit Finals,
Staged in Luxembourg, play commences on Friday 2nd February and concludes on Sunday 4th February.
Meanwhile, the name at the top of the boys’ listing is that of Kanak Jha of the United States, he won in Argentina and Croatia.
Notably Maki Shiomi finished in top spot on the Girls’ Standings (5,200 points), for Kanak Jha on the counterpart Boys’ Standings, it was fourth position (2,950 points); seeding is based on world ranking at the end of the 2017, not as with the ITTF World Grand Finals in the position at the end of year Standings.
Next in line to Maki Shiomi is colleague Miyu Nagasaki, followed by Romania’s Adina Diaconu and Chinese Taipei’s Su Pei-Ling; on the boys’ list Cristian Pletea, like Adina Diaconu from Romania, is the second seed with compatriot, Rares Sipos being the fourth seed. Sandwiched in between is India’s Manav Vikask Thakkar, the player who ended the year on the top of the Standings (4,655 points), having won on home soil and in Slovenia.
However, the name to note is that Chinese Taipei’s Feng Yi-Hsin, he is the fifth highest listed in the boys’ event, finishing the year in seventh place on the Standings (2,706 points); his best of 2017 being when beaten in the Croatian final by Kanak Jha.
Nothing remarkable but he does gain a place in the history books; he is the first player to qualify for the ITTF World Junior Circuit Finals who was not born when the first edition of the event was staged. Feng Yi-Hsin was born on Wednesday 1st January 2003; just over two weeks after the inaugural finals, staged in Stockholm, from Thursday 12th to Sunday 15th December 2002, were held.
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