by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor
In his opening match of day, after securing the opening two games of the contest against Ireland’s Alexander Gillen, he lost the next three to experience defeat (6-11, 5-11, 13-11, 11-9, 11-6).
Defeat but less than two hours later it was success; he beat Germany’s Oliver Both in four games (11-8, 9-11, 11-8, 11-4). Players finishing in first and second places in each group advanced to the main draw but for Laurens Devos, destiny was out of his hands.
He needed help and help came; Oliver Both overcame Alexander Gillen in four games (11-4, 12-10, 7-11, 11-4) and thus there was a reprieve for the Belgian teenager. Games ratio decided that it was first place for Laurens Devos (5:4) with Oliver Both next in line (4:4) and Alexander Gillen third (4:5).
First place for Laurens Devos as expected but there was one most notable top spot contrary to expectations.
Russia’s 15 year old Pavel Linov, currently listed at no.432 on the Under 18 Boys’ World Rankings was very much a young man in form. He beat Germany’s Meng Fangbo, at no.153 the fifth highest rated player in the qualification stage, before accounting for Chile’s David Valenzuela (9-11, 11-5, 11-7, 9-11, 11-2) and Belgium’s Quentin Jacques (11-6, 12-14, 11-8, 11-9) to top the group.
Meng Fangbo duly recovered to beat Quentin Jacques (11-7, 9-11, 11-9, 11-6) and David Valenzuela (6-11, 8-11, 14-12, 11-3, 11-7) to secure second place.
Presently, Quentin Jacques is named at no.343 on the Under 18 Boys’ World Ranking, David Valenzuela has no status.
Problems for two leading names; for the others there were no such travails. Lithuania’s Medardas Stankevicius, the host country’s Istvan Molnar and Portugal’s José Pedro Francisco duly topped their groups as did Germany’s Cedric Meissner, Russia’s Anton Kotov and Romania’s Cristian Chirita.
Play in the Junior Boys’ Singles event concludes on Thursday 3rd November.