by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor
At the close of the first day of play, Tuesday 2nd May, in the Croatian capital city; Saudia Arabia’s Ali Alkhadrawi and Spain’s Miguel Vilchez, alongside the Japanese trio of Masaki Takami, Shunsuke Togami and Fumiya Igarshi had duly reserved first places in their respective groups.
Except for Fumiya Igarshi who benefitted from the absence of Turkey’s Abdullah Yigenler, it was success as anticipated; they were the highest rated in their respective groups.
However, for Russia’s Denis Ivonin, Romania’s Alexandru Manhole, Gleb Shamruk of Belarus and the Slovak Republic’s Samuel Kaluzny, each experienced defeat.
Three players in the group; they must wait to see if the player against whom they suffered defeat continues the run of form to maintain an unbeaten record.
Denis Ivonin was beaten by Austria’s Narayan Kapolnek (6-11, 10-12, 11-6, 11-4, 13-11), Alexandru Manole suffered at the hands of Saudi Arabia’s Abdulaziz Bu Shulaybi (11-8, 8-11, 4-11, 11-9, 11-7); whilst Gleb Shamruk lost to Korea’s Park Gyeontae (13-11, 7-11, 7-11, 21-19, 11-8). Samuel Kaluzny experienced defeat when facing Russia’s Ivan Nikulin (17-15, 8-11, 11-6, 7-11, 11-3).
Unexpected outcomes, in the remaining groups, which each involve four players, it was no different. One match for each player remaining in each group, the only highest rated players to end the day without problems were Sweden’s Simon Soderlund and Austria’s Maciej Kolodziejczyk.
Thailand’s Yanapong Panagitun and Pattaratorn Passara both experienced defeats; the former at the hands of Canada’s Matthew Lehman (11-7, 8-11, 3-11, 12-10, 11-9), the latter when opposing Belgium’s Arthur Bilas (11-7, 10-12, 11-9, 11-4). Notably, on his second visit to the table Matthew Lehman was beaten by Hungary’s Sebestyen Kovacs (5-11, 11-6, 11-6, 9-11, 13-11) who like Arthur Bilas ended the day unbeaten
Meanwhile, Russia’s Andrey Semenov lost to Slovenia’s Tom Sfiligoj (11-5, 11-9, 8-11, 11-4), Sweden’s Anders Eriksson was beaten by Italy’s Antonino Amato (12-10, 11-9, 11-8), whilst India’s Arjun Ghosh suffered against both Korea’s Han Yubeen (7-11, 9-11, 11-7, 11-7, 11-9) and Italy’s Matteo Mutti (7-11, 11-9, 11-9, 14-12).
Han Yubeen and Matteo Mutti meet to determine first place in the group; Tom Sfiligoj and Antonino Amato ended the day unbeaten.
The qualification stage of the Under 21 Men’s Singles event concludes on Wednesday 3rd May.