Vilanova de Gaia, Portugal, Jan 27, 2014: After 30 competitions involving 2,121 players from 105 countries, KIM Minhyeok (KOR) and DOO Hoi Kem (HKG) have been crowned the 2013 Global Junior Circuit Champions!
The pair was triumphant at the ITTF Global Junior Circuit Finals, which saw the top 16 boys and girls from the ITTF 2013 Global Junior Circuit to compete in Vilanova de Gaia, Portugal.
The 2013 ITTF Global Junior Circuit Finals were held immediately after the 2013 Road to Nanjing Finals, which saw 4 boys and 4 girls secure their spot at the Nanjing 2014 Youth Olympic Games.
KIM Minhyeok made up for his disappointment not securing a spot at Nanjing 2014 by winning the boys ITTF Global Junior Circuit Finals gold.
The 17-year-old Korean beat number one seed Hugo CALDERANO (BRA) in the final 13-11, 6-11, 11-8, 12-10, 11-5 to cap off a fantastic season for Korea after JANG Woojin won the World Junior Table Tennis Championships in December 2013.
The third seed stated after his victory: “I am very happy to be able to bounce back after not achieving my goal of direct Youth Olympic Games qualification. It is a great honour for me to finish first out of so many good players.”
DOO Hoi Kem capped off a dream week in Portugal after securing her spot at the Nanjing 2014 Youth Olympic Games before beating the surprise finalist, number 11 seed HUANG Yi-Hua (TPE), 8-11, 9-11, 11-5, 11-6, 11-5, 11-6 to become the girl’s 2013 ITTF Global Junior Circuit Champion.
The 17-year-old number one seed who was unbeaten in all week in Vilanova de Gaia stated with a big smile: “In the first two games I felt too nervous and I played too safe, so I made a lot of mistakes. After this I just told myself to be patient and relax. I am very happy that I won, especially as I faced a lot of difficulties and did several comebacks.”
There is not much rest for the world’s best junior table tennis players, as attention now turns to the ITTF 2014 Global Junior Circuit which starts with the Czech Junior and Cadet Open on 12 February 2014.
ITTF Global Junior Circuit Facts
• 2,121 players participated in at least one event (1198 boys, 923 girls)
• 105 associations took part in the circuit
• 60 associations were represented by 10 players or more
30 events (12 in Europe, 9 in Asia, 5 in Latin America, 2 in Africa, 1 in North America and 1 in Oceania). —- Photo by ITTF