16 Mar 2017

Cristian Pletea put in a good showing on the first day of the qualification event leading up to the 2017 ITTF Challenge Belgosstrakh Belarus Open, after the Romanian competitor claimed his second Men's Singles qualifying group stage victory on Wednesday 15th March.

by Simon Daish

Heading into his second encounter of the day off the back of a tricky seven games duel in his opening match, Cristian Pletea was looking to pick up a positive result against Belarusian opponent Aleksandr Kuchuk in the evening session.

While Aleksandr Kuchuk may have had home advantage on his side, he rarely troubled Cristian Pletea and after five games had been played out the result was beyond any doubt with the Romanian representative securing the two points on offer (11-8, 8-11, 11-7, 11-8, 15-13).

Rares Sipos was another player from Romania who managed to end the day on top spot in his qualifying group, following his win against Belgium’s Thibaut Darcis in their Group 13 meeting (11-5, 14-12, 6-11, 15-13, 8-11, 11-8) and Alexandru Cazacu also secured back-to-back victories, seeing off Russia’s Vladimir Sidorenko (11-7, 11-6, 11-6, 19-21, 5-11, 11-6) in Group 20.

Another country to see all three of its players end the day with 100% win records was Japan as Masaki Takami, Naoya Onishi and Yuta Tanaka all moved to the top of their respective qualifying groups.

Group 7 saw Masaki Takami defeat Marcelo Aguirre of Paraguay despite the Japanese contestant trailing for a good portion of the tie (9-11, 11-7, 4-11, 11-3, 11-7, 11-9), while in Group 10 Naoya Onishi raced to a straight games win over Poland’s Artur Greta (12-10, 11-9, 11-9, 11-8) and in Group 22 Yuta Tanaka overcame Bohdan Sinkevych of Ukraine (11-6, 11-9, 11-3, 11-1).

Latin America has two athletes leading the way in the group stage with Eric Jouti and Felipe Olivares performing well on the opening day of the qualification tournament.

Eric Jouti condemned Jiri Martinko of the Czech Republic to his second defeat of the day after the Brazilian came through the match in six ends (11-9, 9-11, 10-12, 11-9, 11-3, 11-2), while Chile’s Felipe Olivares came back from a game down to beat Russia’s Artur Abusev (9-11, 11-9, 11-2, 12-10, 9-11, 11-6).

Watch the 2017 ITTF Challenge Belgosstrakh Belarus Open unfold, follow the action live with itTV

Qual Day 1 - 2017 ITTF Challenge Belgosstrakh Belarus Open

Challenge Series Cristian Pletea Masaki Takami

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