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Aleksiandr Khanin and Konstantin Chernov, Names to Note in St Petersburg

Belarus emerged as the surprise winners of the Junior Boys’ Team event at the 2014 Polish Junior and Cadet Open in Wladyslawowo on Saturday 31st May; they were the sixth seeds, complete outsiders.

Leading the outfit was 16 year old Aleksiandr Khanin; he set his team on the road to a three-nil victory by beating Nandor Ecseki; a notable win and even more notable as two days earlier, Nandor Eckseki had won the Junior Boys’ Singles title.

Aleksiandr Khanin is one of 147 boys named in the forthcoming Russian Junior and Cadet Open 15th Memorial Nikolay Nikitin Tournament due to be staged in the historic city of St. Petersburg from Monday 24th November to Saturday 29th November.

Medal Candidate

Undoubtedly he is one of the medal candidates in St Petersburg joining forces with Nikita Vilenchyts and Ranian Verhuno in the Junior Boys’ Team event.

However, he faces strong opposition.

ITTF Junior Circuit Winner

Notably the host nation’s Konstantin Chernov appears on the entry list.

Earlier this year he won the Junior Boys’ Singles event at the Italian Junior and Cadet Open and has qualified for the ITTF Junior Circuit Finals to be staged next January in Asuncion, Paraguay.

In the Junior Boys’ Team event in St Petersburg, he lines up alongside Nikita Yarushin, Maksim Kiselev and Andrey Semenov; all are players who have proved worthy competitors on this year’s ITTF Junior Circuit.

Hungarian Junior and Cadet Open

Contenders for honours most certainly; all three members of the Russian outfit performed most creditably at the recent Hungarian Junior and Cadet Open staged in Szombathely.

Konstantin Chernov progressed to the quarter-final stage of the Junior Boys’ Singles event, where he was beaten by Slovenia’s Darko Jorgic; whilst both Maksim Kiselev and Andrey Semenov reached the second round.

The former departed at the hands of Germany’s Qiu Dang, the latter was beaten by Chinese Taipei’s Lai Chi-Chien.

Bronze Medal

However, it was earlier in the proceedings that the Russian trio had impressed.

They clinched the bronze medal in the Junior Boys’ Team event, losing at the semi-final stage to the German outfit formed by Kilian Ort, Marcus Hilker and Qiu Dang.

Wisdom 2014 World Junior Championships

A busy schedule lies ahead for Konstantin Chernov as it does for Aliaksandr Khanin and not just in St Petersburg.

Once the tournament has finished both head east; they are on the list of names of for the Wisdom 2014 World Junior Championships which start on Sunday 30th November. However, they have a little time to breathe; neither is competing in the Boys’ Team event which starts proceedings.

The individual competitions commence with the Mixed Doubles on Wednesday 3rd December. Aliaksander Khanin partners colleague Daria Trigolos, Konstantin Chernov joins forces with Daria Chernova, also from Russia.

Welcome Visitors

Prominent entrants in the Junior Boys’ Team event; notably Estonia, Israel and Nigeria are also on duty.

Estonia is represented by Aleksandr Lusin, Artjom Hisku and Oleg Migunov; for Israel the outfit comprises Matan Simon, Aviv Ben Ari and Inbar Tsook Sagi, whilst the team representing Nigeria is formed by Anthony Uzoehbue, Zacharry Idoko and Ilya Berezin.

Overall in the Junior Boys’ Team event there are 16 outfits.

By: Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor