The most important international junior table tennis event of the year, the Wisdom 2014 World Junior Table Tennis Championships, has kicked off today in Shanghai, China.
The prestigious event, sees 192 players from 41 countries battle for the 7 gold medals on offer: boy’s and girl’s team, boy’s and girl’s singles, boy’s and girl’s doubles, and mixed doubles over the next 8 days.
For 38 of these players, high-level competition is no stranger for them, as they competed in the 2014 Youth Olympic Games earlier in the year just down the road in Nanjing, China.
Within these 38 players, are five out of the six singles medalists, with only the men’s singles Champion FAN Zhendong (CHN) missing from the stellar field of under 18 year olds.
18 year old Lily ZHANG (USA), who created history at the Youth Olympic Games by winning bronze, which was the first ever table tennis (Youth) Olympic medal for a North American country will be playing in her last ever junior event here in Shanghai.
ZHANG, who was one of the stars in the recently released Top Spin documentary stated:
“Winning a medal in Nanjing was my goal and my dream, and achieving it has given me a lot of confidence and allowed me to set higher goals for myself in the future.”
“One of these goals is to win a medal in both the teams and singles events here, which I believe I have a good chance. I just need to fight, and have a bit of luck and hopefully I will be making more history, by winning the first World Junior Championships medal for a North American country.”
The gold and silver medalists at the Youth Olympic Games, LIU Gaoyang (CHN) and DOO Hoi Kem (HKG), will again be the favorites in the girl’s singles to add more medals to their 2014 collection next Sunday.
The silver medalist in Nanjing, defender Yuto MURAMATSU (JPN) has had a stellar year, and not just at the ITTF Junior events. The 18 year old has also had some breakthrough results on the GAC Group 2014 ITTF World Tour, and has qualified for the US$1,000,000 grand finals to be held in Bangkok, Thailand on 11-14 December 2014.
KIM Minhyeok (KOR) will be hoping to follow in 2013 boys singles champion JANG Woojin (KOR) and become Korea’s third World Junior Champion. Hugo CALDERANO (BRA) will be pushing both MURAMATSU and KIM to the limit in his quest to become the first World Junior Champion from Latin America.
To find out more about the event, including schedules, statistics, facts, bios and information on how the event works, download the ITTF World Junior Championships preview here: http://bit.ly/14WJTTCMedia.
Who will be the next ITTF World Junior Champion? Who will be the next player set on the road to stardom? Follow all the action from Shanghai, China through the below channels: