by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor
Success for Park Jeongwoo against expectations but for Korea, there was the reverse scenario. Standing at no.71 on the present Men’s World Rankings, Kim Minseok was beaten by Japan’s Kenta Tazoe (11-4, 11-13, 9-11, 16-14, 11-6, 11-8).
Currently, Kenta Tazoe, who secured bronze in the Mixed Doubles event at the recent Seamaster 2017 Asian Championships in Wuxi when partnering colleague Miyu Maeda, has no global status owing to an absence from international play.
It is the same situation for Kim Minseok’s colleague, Jang Sangeun and Germany’s Patrick Franziska; like Japan’s Kazuhiro Yoshimira, neither has a present day World ranking but booked main draw places.
Patrick Franziska booked his place by beating Korea’s Kim Minhyeok, named at no.136 (11-3, 14-12, 11-4, 11-5); Jeong Sangeun defeated Romania’s Cristian Pletea, listed at no.148 (11-4, 10-12, 11-7, 11-3, 11-2), whilst Kazuhiro Yoshimura ended the hopes of Turkey’s Ahmed Li (11-5, 11-6, 11-4, 11-3). On the current Men’s World Rankings, Ahmet Li is in the no.78 spot.
Impressive performances and there was one more of particular note; the host nation’s Lim Jonghoon, named at no.119 on the current Men’s World Rankings, overcame Japan’s Tomokazu Harimoto, listed at no.61 and the current World Junior champion (7-11, 11-3, 3-11, 12-10, 6-11, 11-8, 11-8).
Results to raise the eyebrows but no mishaps where the top two names in the Men’s Singles qualification tournament were concerned; Korea’s Jang Woojin, World ranked no.45 and Germany’s Benedikt Duda, named at no.51, both accounted for Japanese opponents.
Jang Woojin beat Yuto Kizukuri (11-8, 11-7, 11-2, 11-7), listed at no.130; Bendedikt Duda ended the aspirations of Hokuto Koriyama, a player who occupies to no.211 spot in the global ratings.