by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor
Bojan Tokic eventually won the first game against Dimitrij Ovtcharov 33-31, the affair lasting 26 minutes! However, it was not to success for the Slovenian; Dimitrij Ovtcharov recovered to secure the next four games to justify his third seeded spot and reach the last eight. Eventually a five games win was the outcome (31-33, 12-10, 11-5, 11-4, 11-7).
“I think it was the longest game since the rule was change”, said Dimitrij Ovtcharov, aware that once upon a time we played to 21 points.
“I was very disappointed that I didn’t win that game but I said to myself that it is only one of seven”, added Dimitrij Ovtcharov. “I thought he might be tired because he is older than me; I said to myself play your best and keep trying, I think that from game three, I showed my best performance during the Olympic Games.”
Conversely the contest between Japan’s Koki Niwa, the no.17 seed and Wong Chun Ting, the no.6 seed, needed a seventh game to decide the outcome; furthermore it looked in the seventh game that he might have missed his chance.
In the decider, he established a 5-1 lead; Wong Chun Ting levelled but was never able to seize and advantage, Koki Niwa emerged successful (6-11, 11-6, 8-11, 5-11, 12-10, 11-4, 11-8).
“I became nervous; that why I lost those four points”, said Koki Niwa. “It was a really tough match, playing Wong Chun Ting you must play strongly; his top spin play is very good.”
Zhang Jike and Vladimir Samsonov
Success for Dimitrij Ovtcharov and Koki Niwa; there were also successes for China’s Zhang Jike and Vladimir Samsonov of Belarus.
Zhang Jike, the no.2 seed, beat Romania’s Adrian Crisan (11-8, 11-9, 14-12, 11-5); Vladimir Samsonov ended the progress of Great Britain’s Paul Drinkhall (11-9, 11-6, 11-8, 15-17, 7-11, 11-8).
“I didn’t change my strategy after losing the third game, I wanted to win”, said Vladimir Samsonov. “I didn’t think in that moment that I had already won the match, I just continued to play; I had seven game points in the fourth game and lost.”
At the quarter-final stage Vladimir Samsonov meets Dimitrij Ovtcharov, Zhang Jike opposes Koki Niwa; the matches will be played on Tuesday 9th August.