by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor
The player to suffer the greatest pain was Aliaksandr Khanin, the young man who just over three weeks earlier at the Liebherr 2016 European Championships in Budapest had been in outstanding form. He overcame the likes of Frenchman Tristan Flore and the Czech Republic’s Tomas Konecny.
In Stockholm it was down to earth with a bump. He was beaten by both the host nation’s Carl Ahlander-Johansson (11-4, 12-10, 11-3) and then by the Slovak Republic’s Tomas Kopanyi (11-8, 11-6, 11-3).
A main draw place is out of the question, the decision is between Carl Ahlander-Johannson and Tomas Kopanyi; Paraguay’s Alejandro Toranzos finding first Tomas Kopanyi (11-8, 11-9, 11-4) and then Carl Ahlander-Johansson (11-8, 11-4, 11-4) too hot to handle.
Likewise, for Bence Majoros and Martin Allegro, who were involved in groups that comprise only three players, there will be no main draw place.
Listed at no.50 on the Under 21 Men’s World Rankings, Bence Majoros experienced defeat at the hands Konstantinos Angelakis of Greece (11-9, 13-15, 11-4, 11-5); whilst Martin Allegro, named at no.59, was beaten by Sweden’s Oscar Perman (12-10, 6-11, 12-10, 11-7).
Pertinently, one match earlier, Konstantinos Angelakis had accounted for the host nation’s Jonas Stener (6-11, 14-12, 11-7, 11-8); likewise Oscar Perman had overcome Chile’s Juan Lamadrid (11-8, 11-9, 8-11, 11-2). Thus both Konstantinos Angelakis and Oscar Perman are guaranteed top places in the respective groups.
Destiny decided for Martin Allegro, Aliaksandr Khanin and Bence Majoros; for Qiu Liang his destiny lays in his own hands but it is a tall order. He must beat the hitherto unbeaten Supanut Wisutmaythangkoon of Thailand in three straight games to advance. There is no other option.
On the opening day of action, Qiu Lang beat Sweden’s Per Sandström (11-5, 11-7, 11-9) but then experienced a four games defeat when facing Singapore’s Lim Zheng Jie Edric (11-9, 11-8, 6-11, 11-9). Earlier Supanut Wisutmaythangkoon had accounted for Lim Zheng Jie Edric in three straight games (11-4, 11-3, 11-8), prior to defeating Per Sandström in four games (7-11, 11-6, 11-4, 11-5). The clash featuring Qiu Liang and Supanut Wisutmaythangkoon will decide top place.
Surprises but not amongst the leading names on first stage Under 21 Men’s Singles duty; for Frenchman Enzo Angles and Puerto Rico’s Brian Afanador, it was one match completed, one success, as it was for Chinese Taipei’s Sun Chia-Hung and Germany’s Kilian Ort.
The first stage of the Under 21 Men’s Singles event concludes on Thursday 17th November.
The opening day at the 2016 ITTF World Tour Swedish Open