by Simon Daish
Truls Moregard and Vladimir Sidorenko reached the main draw having successfully negotiated the qualifying groups stage, finishing second and first in their respective groups. However, only one of the two players could progress to the last 32 of the tournament and it was the lower ranked competitor from Sweden who went on to take that spot.
Nine places separate Moregard and Sidorenko in December’s ITTF World Rankings table with the Russian player holding the slight edge, sitting in 28th position in the Under 18 category and it was Sidorenko who put in the stronger start in Cape Town moving 1-3 ahead of Moregard in the best of seven games encounter.
Moregard lost out in seven ends to England’s Tom Jarvis in the qualifying group stage having let a 3-1 lead slip through his hands, but this time around it was the Swede’s turn to make a comeback as Moregard claimed three consecutive games to pick up a 4-3 victory (9-11, 11-6, 2-11, 8-11, 11-9, 12-10, 11-9) condemning Sidorenko to an early exit from the competition.
“It is always tough playing against him (Sidorenko) because this is our fourth meeting and we have defeated ourselves equally. Most of our matches have always been close. My target is to win the tournament being my first World Junior Championships. I hope to continue working hard to achieve my aim and play very well in each match” – Truls Moregard (Sweden).
French Table Tennis fans will be left with mixed emotions after two out of the country’s four representatives moved into the Round of 32; Alexandre Cassin came back from a game down to see off Denmark’s Andreas Dilling in four ends (5-11, 12-10, 11-9, 11-9, 11-7) while the other French player to succeed Irvin Bertrand came through a tricky opening game before going on to beat Spain’s Carlos Vedriel (19-17, 11-5, 11-4, 11-6).
However, while two French contestants progressed there were defeats for the other two players from the European country as Leo De Nodrest and Joe Seyfried suffered exits at the hands of DPR Korea’s Ham Yu Song (9-11, 8-11, 2-11, 11-8, 6-11) and the USA’s Victor Liu (11-4, 11-7, 10-12, 5-11, 9-11, 8-11).
Japan will have three athletes in the Round of 32 after Tomokazu Harimoto, Yuto Kizukuri and Tonin Ryuzaki all registered wins in the opening round of the main draw.
Top seed Harimoto required six games to overcome Belgium’s Valentin Pieraert (11-5, 9-11, 11-3, 11-4, 7-11, 11-5), while Kizukuri and Ryuzaki defeated the Czech Republic’s Patrik Klos (11-8, 11-4, 11-4, 4-11, 11-7) and Russia’s Denis Ivonin (6-11, 11-6, 11-8, 11-8, 11-6) respectively.
Play in the Boys’ Singles event resumes on Tuesday 6th December.