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Brian Afanador: 2015 HungarianHungarian Junior & Cadet Open – Photo By: Thorsten Gohl

Mantle Falls on Brian Afanador, Maintaining Latin American Momentum

Mantle Falls on Brian Afanador, Maintaining Latin American Momentum
2015 Hungarian Junior & Cadet Open – ITTF Premium Junior Circuit
Courtesy of ITTF

Gold in the Girls’ Team event at the recently completed 2015 ITTF World Cadet Challenge in the Egyptian city of Sharm El-Sheikh plus the Girls’ Singles title secured by Brazil’s Bruna Takahashi; it is halcyon days for Latin America.

Now the mantle falls on the shoulders of Puerto Rico’s Brian Afanador to maintain the continent’s momentum; he is the top seed in the Junior Boys’ Singles event at the 2015 Hungarian Junior and Cadet Open, which starts in Szombathley on Wednesday November 4th.

The runner up on the ITTF Junior Circuit tournament on home soil earlier in the year in Aguada, when beaten by Argentina’s Fermin Tenti and later in the year crucial to his island’s bronze medal Men’s Team success at the Pan American Games in Toronto, Brian Afanador leads the list ahead of Slovenia’s Darko Jorgic, Romania’s Cristian Pletea and the Czech Republic’s Tomas Polansky.

Cristian Pletea
Similar to Brian Afanador, the three Europeans have enjoyed notable successes this year.

In addition to being vital to Europe’s win in the Boys’ Team event at the ITTF World Cadet Challenge and bronze medalist in the Boys’ Singles event; Cristian Pletea emerged successful in the first two ITTF Junior Circuit tournaments of the year. He won in Bahrain and the Czech Republic.

Notably the winner one year earlier of the Cadet Boys’ Singles title at the 2014 Hungarian Junior and Cadet Open, Cristian Pletea is assured of an invitation to attend the ITTF World Junior Circuit Finals to be staged in the Indian city of Indore next January.

Currently, he is named at no.2 (3,508 points) on the ITTF Junior Circuit Boys’ Standing being one place below Korea’s An Jaehyun (3,829 points) and one ahead of Darko Jorgic.

Indore Bound
The winner in both Egypt and in Serbia, Darko Jorgic is at no.3 (3,088 points) and like Cristian Pletea with only the Portugal Junior and Cadet Open remaining on this year’s ITTF Junior Circuit calendar, he can book his flight to Indore.

Sensational Win
Meanwhile, for Tomas Polansky, as it is for Aliaksandr Khanin of Belarus, the no.5 seed and Austria’s Andras Levenko, the no.8 seed; the chances of invitations to Indore are non-existent.

None of the three has completed the minimum requirement of competing in two continents on this year’s ITTF Junior Circuit calendar and even if they compete in Portugal, they will only have played in Europe.

However, Tomas Polansky has enjoyed his moment of glory, just over one month ago at the Liebherr 2015 European Championships, he beat Austria’s Stefan Fegerl in the opening round of the Men’s Singles event; the player who recently beat China’s Zhang Jike and reached the Men’s Singles final at the GAC Group 2015 ITTF World Tour Polish Open.

Different Proposition
However, for the Japanese duo of Takuto Izumo and Yukiya Uda, it is a very different proposition.

Takuto Izumo, the runner up in Poland, is presently at no.9 of the Boys’ Standings (2,198 points), Yukiya Uda, the winner at the recently completed Slovak Cadet Open, who will be competing in no less than his 10th ITTF Junior Circuit tournament of the year, more than any other player, is presently at no.15 (1,724 point) on the listings.

Both have realistic chances of being amongst the 16 boys who will compete in Indore.

Possible Qualification
Also, there are three further names on the Szombathley entry list who may qualify for the Finals depending on their performances in the Hungarian city.

Spain’s Carlos Verdiel is at no.11 (2,102 points), Germany’s Jonah Schlie at no.12 (1,927 points) with Chinese Taipei’s Tsai Chun-Yu being at no.19 (1,656 points).

The Finals
Each national association is limited to two places in the Finals, which involves 16 players.

One place is reserved for the host nation plus the leading player on the Standings from each of the six continents – Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America, North America, Oceania – affiliated to the International Table Tennis Federation qualifies.

A total of 150 boys will compete in the Junior Boys’ Singles event in Szombathely; the top 32 names receive a direct entry to the main draw.

No less than 31 national associations are represented: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Belarus, Bulgaria, Canada, Chinese Taipei, Czech Republic, Denmark, England, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Moldova, Montenegro, Panama, Poland, Puerto Rico, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United States.

  • Junior Boys Singles (Qualification Groups)
  • Junior Girls Singles (Qualification Groups)

Complete coverage of the 2015 Hungarian Junior & Cadet Open will be available at ITTF.com.

Butterfly is the Official Ball of the 2015 Hungarian Junior & Cadet Open – ITTF Premium Junior Circuit.

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