30 Mar 2017

Runner up on the 2016 ITTF World Junior Circuit in Qatar and Jordan; 15 year old Yanapong Panagitgun was very much the player to fly the flag for the host nation, as matters concluded in the qualification tournament at the 2017 ITTF Challenge Thailand Open in Bangkok on Thursday 30th March.

First place in his group was the end result in an event that witnessed first place in each of the 14 groups progress to the main draw; two players, drawn at random from the second places players, gained the two remaining positions.

by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor

Success against India’s Sourav Saha on the opening day (16-14, 7-11, 11-6, 11-8, 11-7), on the second day of action, Yanapong Panagitgun completed his group phase contests unbeaten but he needed the full seven games to secure his main draw berth.

Chen Chun-Hsiang proved a most worthy adversary; the 18 year old from Chinese Taipei won the first three games before Yanapong Panagitgun negotiated nervous moments in the penultimate game (8-11, 7-11, 6-11, 11-8, 11-5, 14-12, 11-7), to gain success.

However, Yanapong Panagitgun emerged the only successful host nation player in the Men’s Singles qualification tournament; the major disappointment being third place in the group for Pattaratorn Passara.

The 17 year old, having beaten Japan’s Masato Kakitsuka on the opening day of action in a close seven games duel (12-10, 7-11, 7-11, 11-9, 11-6, 12-10, 12-10), was beaten by Chinese Taipei’s Hu Chung-Wen in five games (11-5, 11-9, 8-11, 11-6, 11-7).

Earlier in the opening match in the group, Hu Chung-Wen had been beaten by Masatao Kakitsuka in four straight games (11-8, 11-9, 11-6, 13-11); thus games ratio determined the outcome. It was first place for Masatao Kakitsuka (7:4) followed by Hu Chung-Wen (4:5) and Pattaratorn Passara (5:7).

Success for Masatao Kakitsuka, a place in the main event, it was the same for India’s Sanil Shetty, Japan’s Keiya Uemura and Scotland’s Gavin Rumgay, the leading three names on Men’s Singles qualification tournament duty.

All remained unbeaten to top their respective groups; however, for the next in line there was no progress. Chinese Taipei’s Peng Wang-Wei concluded his itinerary with success against Malaysia’s Javen Choong (11-5, 11-3, 11-3, 11-3) but defeat one day earlier against Korea’s Kang Dongsoo (10-12, 11-3, 13-11, 11-4, 6-11, 11-8) cost him dear.

Kang Dongsoo, having beaten Javen Choong in the opening match in the group (11-7, 11-6, 11-6, 11-6) duly reserved top spot and a main draw place.

Play in the main draw commences on Friday 31st March.

Challenge Series 2017 ITTF Challenge - Thailand Yanapong Panagitgun

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