by Simon Daish
Masaki Yoshida was one of five Japanese competitors who prevailed in the second round of qualifying groups stage matches with Mizuki Oikawa, Jin Ueda, Takuya Jin and Kenta Tazoe also making strong starts to their groups.
The opening round of matches in group 2 had seen Swedish player Jonas Stener pick up a straight games win over Chinese Taipei’s Lai Chi-Chien, but Stener wasn’t able to end his group stage campaign without suffering defeat as Masaki Yoshida pulled a 4-1 victory out of the bag against the Swede (11-7, 6-11, 11-8, 11-6, 11-8).
Another player from Japan to claim his match in five ends was Mizuki Oikawa, who is well placed to qualify from group 9 having seen off England’s Tom Jarvis (11-7, 11-9, 11-4, 5-11, 11-4) to move to within a win from the next round.
Group 19 saw Jin Ueda get off the mark with his four games victory over Poh Shao Feng Ethan of Singapore (11-5, 11-5, 11-3, 11-1) with Jin Takuya and Kenta Tazoe also registering straight games wins. But there was disappointment for the other Japanese contestant taking part in the round as Masaki Takami lost out to home player Jens Lundqvist in a seven game thriller (11-7, 6-11, 11-9, 4-11, 8-11, 11-8, 11-3).
Lundqvist wasn’t the only Swedish player to succeed in the morning session as the home spectators were provided with pleny to be optimistic about; Anton Källberg defeated Spain’s Carlos Franco 4-0 (11-6, 13-11, 11-6, 11-5) in group 6 to put two group points on the board, while there were also victories for Harald Andersson and Simon Arvidsson over Singapore’s Lim Zheng Jie Edric (12-10, 11-3, 11-3, 11-4) and Iran’s Mohammadreza Akhlaghpasand (11-7, 7-11, 13-11, 11-7, 11-13, 11-9) in groups 26 and 34 respectively.
Representatives from Korea Republic took part in their first Men’s Singles qualifying group matches of the 2016 Swedish Open, with Kim Donghyun, Cho Eonrae and Park Ganghyeon all registering wins.
However, there was a shock defeat for Kim Minhyeok as the 128th world ranked player ended up on the losing end to Sweden’s Per Sandström (11-5, 11-7, 7-11, 9-11, 6-11, 11-7, 11-9), who is ranked 645th in November 2016’s ITTF world rankings table and after the match Sandström was ecstatic with the result:
“I guess this is my best match ever. It is for sure the highest ranked player that I have beaten. I have felt this good sometimes before when playing but not against such a good player as Kim Minhyeok” – Per Sandström (Sweden).
Wednesday 16th November: Men’s Singles – Qualification Group Stages