Recommended listening for fans and supporters of the ITTF Global Junior Programme reading this post; Paul Carrack – Silent Running – Live
The message to those not succeeding here in Villa Nova De Gaia is simple enough ; Just keep on running !!. There are several more opportunities coming, both for the brave and the skilled. The ITTF is about to roll out the 2014 Road to Nanjing series as well as continental qualifications on top of the next step which actually involves the ITTF U 18 world ranking.
Technically speaking, following another exciting day of competition in Portugal, we now have eight junior players qualified for the Nanjing Youth Olympic Games. NOC approval needed of course – but I am sure it will be alright in the end. If not, we just have to get the ITTF Promotion Manager Matt Pound fired up. With his social media skills – a campaign of some sort might do the trick. Because these young players are for sure worth any support they can get in their quest to establish themselves as professionals in our sport.
So.. Here it is the ever so truth-seeking and at times dumbstruck Eleven Points Blog; “Star Appeal” rating for today’s winners.
Let’s go with the girls first;
+++++ FIVE PLUS – Championships material
DIACONU Adina ROU ; Labelled the best ever talent selected for the ITTF World Hopes Team by the master coach Dejan Papic , the fourteen year old pheanom from Romania continues to gain ground . She is now qualified for the Nanjing Games and will , mind you, still be fourteen years old when it comes around. Adina showed tremendous mental toughness in this competition battling back from severe deficits both in the sixth and seventh game against a well set up Natalia Bajor from Poland.
++++ FOUR PLUS – World Class (for many years to come)
DOO Hoi Kem HKG ; In her own words…; “I am bit of a cry baby. I can cry for anything and everything – But I am standing strong. I am a super woman “Well – well.. The Eleven Points Blog likes this young “made in Hong Kong” girl. She might lack some variation and a winning weapon or two.. But my god, she can play table tennis. My guess is that DOO will cut her world ranking (56) in half before this year is over. Medal contender in Nanjing.
+++ THREE PLUS – Good ! – But improvement needed
KATO Miyu JPN ; Nice young girl. Will have to battle plenty of good players in the Japanese system to be successful, I kind of doubt that she can do it… Solid worker – but far away from the necessary top talent level needed to win anything big.
+ ONE PLUS – Good luck in Nanjing – Not much more than that.
CHIU Ssu-Hua TPE; Long Pimples on the backhand side is what we are talking about here. I doubt – I doubt that this girl ever will please the fans of international table tennis… But of course the eleven points blog could be wrong once in a while..
+++ THREE PLUS – Strong getting stronger
ORT Kilian GER; This guy has very quietly advanced 200 places (from 530 to 340) on the ITTF World ranking in a little bit more than one year. Watch out – Killian is in the slightly slower (in terms of pushing through talented players) German system on his way to become a name to reckon with. I wouldn’t rule out a potential “Going for Gold in Nanjing” campaign coming from the Germans who does have a great chance in the special mixed team format. Pairing up with the super talented Nina MITTELHAM might be the perfect fit for Killian ORT and for Germany .
+++ THREE PLUS – Good! – But must be better..
SZUDI Adam HUN ; Here we have one of these European players that suddenly at the age of seventeen or so decides to start practicing. Adam has in the last sixth month developed into a very competitive top junior in Europe. Great, solid performance today when he defeated the highly touted Brazilian Hugo CALDERANO– mind you not in seven but rather five well executed games.
YANG Heng-Wei TPE; Close call it was for one of the top seeds in this tournament. Plenty of success on the ITTF JC in 2013 and has a well-rounded game to fall back on.. However I doubt that it will be enough to make it to the next level. That’s just a feeling that I have.
++ TWO PLUS – Positive Development – But a lot of work left to be done
REITSPIES David CZE; David has made great progress in the last six month, no doubt. Still we are speaking typical European style just a nudge to slow to become any threat to the Asian top players.. But here we are now – just keep running David – it is after all refreshing to see a Czech Player making an effort to establish himself internationally.