The individual events are in full swing. Finally got a few hours free, from the ever so increasing number of meetings at world title events , to watch a little bit of the action yesterday.
No doubt a lot can happen with young players in a very short time. It is, at times , like searching for the right button to click and off you go. I have listed a few players below that currently are flying under the radar, but played well in the preliminary group stage of the singles; Lets call them ; The Unknown – at least to a wider group of TT fans. These are the youngsters reaching todays watchlist;
Boys: (Playing well so far in Colombia)
Felipe Olivares – Chile ; Suddenly awakening from almost the dead following a series of mediocre results, Felipe is playing great in this championship. This young left-hander showed a lot of potential when he broke into the ITTF GJP scene at the ITTF Cadet Challenge in Santo Domingo 2005. Felipe played three years for the Latin American Cadet team , always generating more promise than results. Suddenly the talent has become a young man with poise and passion ready to excel even at the World Junior level. Nice to see.
Sathiyan GNANASEKARAN – India ; Nicknamed “The Spider” by a group of Swedish players visiting the Indian Junior Open a few years ago , the Indian first year junior makes his World Junior Champion debut here in Cartagena. May not look like a force when he is stepping into the court , but moves well and competes hard. An interesting prospect from a future super-power in our sport ? – India .
Liam Pitchford – ENG ; The number one English Junior (despite being in his first year of junior TT ) is on his way to cover for better known Paul Drinkhall and Darius Knight. Liam has to quote Peter Karlsson the ITTF Expert coach “A great flow in his game”. Should Pitch find his way to the gym with regularity in the next few years and improve his strength and conditioning things can quickly turn serious for his opponents. Good results all over the place lately. The win against top ranked Liu Song from Argentina in English Open back in November was a great boost for a talented individual.
Girls; ( Showcasing themselves)
Lily Zhang – USA ; The youngest girl in the whole field advanced to the main draw yesterday. Born in the year 1996 , gives her another five ITTF WJTTC to find her feet. If the right backing and support appears we could have a born and bred US girl winning a medal in.. Uhm 2014…! Organizer not yet known.
Dora Madarasz – HUN ; Played extremely well in the European Youth Championships in Prague this summer. Wouldnt surprise me a bit if she would happen to upset a few older opponents in this event. At the same time – the Hungarian Table Tennis Association declined participation in the team event , a decision far from smart. Plenty of matches in the team competition would have added valuable experience for one of the most promising girls in Europe. Dora is born 1993 and has another two years to go in the junior category.
Nadeen El Dawlatly – EGY ; One can not argue with the fact that the daughter of well-respected ITTF course conductor Ahmed Dawlatly comes to play with great pride and passion. Uncontrolled nerves have been a killer for Nadeen at times during her Cadet years , but you wonder if not her great performance at the ITTF Global Junior Circuit Final in Tokyo might help this ever smiling girl on her way to London 2012 ?