by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor
Kim Minho beat Thailand’s Supanut Wisutmaythangkoon, the third highest rated player on first phase Under 21 Men’s Singles action (11-3, 11-4, 11-7), before securing top spot in the group courtesy of success in opposition to Bulgaria’s Stefan Todorov (11-7, 11-7, 11-7).
In a somewhat similar manner, India’s Manav Vikash Thakker accounted for Romania’s Alexandru Manole, the eighth highest in the qualification stage pecking order (11-13, 12-10, 11-6, 11-6), before overcoming the Bulgarian duo of Aleksandar Galabov (11-2, 11-4, 11-6) and Svetozar Stoyanov (11-1, 11-7, 11-5) to secure pole position.
Notably for Supanut Wisutmaythangkoon and Alexandru Manole it was their only defeat; thus with players finishing in first and second places in each of the eight groups advancing to the main draw, their hopes of a possible podium finish remained alive.
However, for Rares Sipos, the fifth highest rated player on duty and like Alexandru Manole from Romania, fourth place in the group was the disastrous end result.
He beat Zeyad Aldmaisy (11-8, 11-8, 11-9) and Bulgaria’s Ivo Yordanov (11-4, 11-9, 10-12, 11-9) on the opening day of play but on the second day experienced disqualification following his scheduled encounter against Zlatin Tenev, like Ivo Yordanov from the host nation.
One point for a match completed; one point for a win, Rares Sipos finished with four match points.
Impressively, following his initial defeat, Zeyad Aldmaisy overcame Zlatin Tenev (11-4, 11-7, 11-3) and Ivo Yordanov (11-8, 11-1, 11-6) and thus finished with five match points, sufficient to secure first place.
Meanwhile, Ivo Yordanov, Zlatin Tenev and Rares Sipos all finished level with four points, but with Ivo Yordanov beating Zlatin Tenev (11-6, 11-4, 11-9) and taking into consideration only the matches between those three players. It was second place for Ivo Yordanov followed by Zlatin Tenev and Rares Sipos.
Leading Names Top Groups
Similar in the Under 21 Women’s Singles qualification stage, it was success for the leading names. Japan’s Maki Shiomi and Romania’s Irina Ciobanu duly reserved first places in their respective group.
However, there was one upset of note. Thailand’s Jinnipa Sawettabut, having beaten the host nation’s Zarena Koeva on the opening day of action (11-4, 11-2, 12-10), continued her good form on the second day.
She overcame Russia’s Daria Chernova, the fifth highest rated player on first stage duty (12-14, 11-9, 11-7, 11-8) to reserve her place in the main draw.
End of Road
Alas for Daria Chernova it was the end of the road; only the players finishing in first places in each of the seven groups plus one “Lucky Loser” advanced to the main draw.
The “Lucky Loser” place went to Ayhika Mukherjee who had finished in second place in her group behind Irina Ciobanu.
Play in the main draw commences on Friday 26th August.