My favorite event is on this week in Jaipur, India ; The Asian Junior Championships. Interesting results – please check basic coverage on www.ittf.com. Still proud as the one who actually recommended the inclusion of the Cadet Team events , which of course have a number of dynamite talents playing this week.. First time also for DPR Korea to participate. .. And not only that. DPR Korea is now actually qualified for the ITTF World Junior Championships for the first time. Will be interesting to follow that story. Japan outside top four in the junior girls team event , but no worries , they will get in as the world ranking wild card..
Just a few reflections at this stage;
- Noshad Alamanyian – the left-handed Iranian super talent – Undefeated in the team events.. despite playing a number of good , higher ranked juniors..
- India is improving step by step.. Very , very close to beat Japan in the Junior Boys event already this year… Two points separation in the fifth and final game with the score tied at two..
- Team event sweep by China – as expected. Yan An – the Chinese Junior Boys star of the year and now the potential favourite for the WJTTC in Colombia.
- Miyu MAEDA from Japan.. Never heard of her before.. Defeated Yang Ha Eun from Korea in the team semis and also took one point in the final vs China.. Interesting.
Got to say one thing though … And i promise to comeback with more thoughts concerning this… Don’t know really why the young Japanese juniors are so reluctant to bring their A game to important junior competitions.. Koki NIWA has dropped more or less each match that he played so far in the team event.. Also bleak performances signed off by Jin Ueda who should come into an event like this with a big bag of self-confidence… But i have – and that’s the big danger, seen the same kind of performances by the prevoius star generation led by Jun Mizutani and Seya Kishikawa.. Yes – Japan is back producing good talents.. But do they have the mental toughness and understanding of preparation to capture titles. ..? Something is missing, and I for one would call even a 20 in the world ranked Jun Mizutani as a small failure of some sort.. he is much better than that.