Hirano Aims for World Junior Championships Title in Cape TownPhoto: ITTF
Sun International 2016 World Junior Table Tennis Championships
Japan’s Miu HIRANO who stunned the world to become the youngest ITTF World Cup Champion earlier this year, is back in action to aim for another Gold to add to her collection at the Sun International 2016 World Junior Table Tennis Championships in Cape Town from today, 30 Nov till 7 Dec 2016.
The Sun International 2016 World Junior Table Tennis Championships, which the most prestigious event for under-18 players, will see the world’s best junior players from 37 countries battling for Gold in seven categories: Boys’ Team, Girls’ Team, Boys’ Singles, Girls’ Singles, Boys’ Doubles, Girls’ Doubles & Mixed Doubles.
HIRANO, who heads the singles seeding, will be joined by her teammates including youngest Olympic table tennis medalist Mima Ito to challenge the Chinese team who claimed all 7 Gold medals on offer last year in France.
“Even though I won the Women’s World Cup, I have to come into this tournament with a fresh mind and put that victory in the past as the players here are also the best in the world,” stated the 16-year-old. “I will be playing in all four events (Girls’ Team, Girls’ Singles, Girls’ Doubles & Mixed Doubles) here in Cape Town and of course I hope to win all four Gold, it is going to be tough especially with the Chinese team who will be our biggest threat, but we will give in our best efforts!”
HIRANO’s compatriot Tomokazu HARIMOTO who had a breakthrough year in 2016 will lead the seeding in the boy’s category. The 13-year-old will have to fend off not only tough competition from his compatriots, but also Korea Republic’s CHO Seungmin and the Chinese team will be fighting hard to retain all their hard earned title from Vendee last year.
The local crowd will be cheering for South Africa’s number one Lekeasha JOHNSON who will be leading the South African contingent to challenge the world’s best players on home soil.
The 2016 World Junior Championships will kick off with the teams’ events on 30 November with the team Champions determined on 3 December, and the battle for the singles and doubles medals starting from 3 till 7 December 2016.