by Simon Daish
Park Ganghyeon headed into the 2016 Swedish Open off the back of claiming the Under 21 Men’s Singles gold medal at the 2016 Austrian Open on the 12th November, but the World No.120 (November 2016) will be disappointed with his exit in the Swedish capital of Stockholm having held a two game advantage against Florent Lambiet, who is ranked 179th in the world, in the best of seven games battle for the main draw.
While Lambiet managed to make a fairly bright start to the tie, it was Park who was winning the important rallies and after the opening four games the Korea Republic player held a 1-3 lead.
With just one more game win required for Park the prospect of seeing the Korean contestant make the Round of 64 was looking like a safe bet, however, his Belgian opponent struck back taking the fifth end in deuce and soon the comeback challenge was on.
Suddenly there was a shift in momentum with Lambiet taking heart from his tight victory in game five, going on to claim the following two games back-to-back to complete an outstanding achievement with a 4-3 win (4-11, 11-9, 7-11, 6-11, 15-13, 11-8, 11-2).
Another Korean representative to lose out with an unexpected defeat was Kim Minhyeok who failed to see off Sweden’s Viktor Brodd.
The home crowd was left in a very positive mood by the conclusion of the encounter with Brodd putting in a superb display to eliminate the player ranked over 60 places higher than him in the world, as Kim was left on the wrong side of the the result (11-8, 11-5, 7-11, 11-9, 5-11, 11-7).
Elias Ranefur also gave the Swedish fans something to cheer about with his seventh game triumph against Darko Jorgič, but not before the Slovenian player had given the home contestant a small scare with an almost successful comeback bid (11-8, 11-9, 12-10, 7-11, 4-11, 7-11, 11-6).
China will have three competitors in the main draw with Wang Chuqin, Song Xu and Zhou Yu all making the cut; Wang Chuqin put in an impressive performance to overcome Iran’s Nima Alamian in five ends (11-9, 9-11, 11-8, 11-8, 11-7), while Song Xu’s win over Frenchman Can Akkuzu (11-8, 11-6, 9-11, 12-10, 11-5) ensured that both of the Chinese players would join Zhou Yu in the last 64. But there will be no main draw spot for China’s Li Yijie who exited to Sweden’s Hampus Nordberg (9-11, 11-7, 11-8, 9-11, 11-9, 11-9).
Thursday 17th November: Men’s Singles – Preliminary Round