by Ian Marshall (ITTF Publications Editor)
Furthermore, not only did he end the hopes of the leading first stage name, he emerged successful in a most emphatic manner; the teenager prevailed in four straight games (11-5, 11-6, 11-5, 11-8) against his 33 years of age adversary.
It was a most impressive performance; presently Lin Yun-Ju is named at no.280 on the Men’s World Rankings, Pavel Platonov stands at no.165.
Success for Lin Yun-Ju but for Nigeria’s Olajide Omotayo, the player who earlier in the day had caused a major upset by beating Romania’s Cristan Pletea, the fourth highest rated in the qualification phase (11-4, 5-11, 11-8, 12-10, 12-10), it was defeat. He was beaten by Chile’s Gustavo Gomez (11-6, 9-11, 11-5, 11-8, 11-6), the winner of the Men’s Singles title at the recent Ibero-American Championships in Madrid.
Problems for leading names but not for two further prominent players; years of experience counted as the Egyptian duo of El-Sayed Lashin and Ahmed Ali Saleh both 37 years old, enjoyed preliminary round success. El-Sayed Lashin beat Argentina’s Nicolas Galvano (12-10, 11-7, 11-8, 11-9), Ahmed Ali Saleh ended the hopes of Turkey’s Ibrahim Gündüz (12-10, 11-7, 11-8, 11-9).
Success for Egypt; in the counterpart Women’s Singles preliminary round, it was mixed fortunes for the African country.
Farah Abdel-Aziz was beaten by Italy’s Giorgia Piccolin in a closely contested seven games duel (15-13, 11-8, 11-8, 4-11, 8-11, 8-11, 11-9); conversely, Yousra Helmy overcame Macao’s Chong Weng I by the very minimal margin in the deciding game (10-12, 9-11, 11-4, 6-11, 11-4, 11-4, 11-9). Notably in the group stage, Yousra Helmy had beaten Malaysia’s Lee Rou You (7-11, 5-11, 9-11, 9-11), the highest rated player in the group.
“It was a very tough match for me because I was down three-one but I restored parity at three-three. In the seventh game I was leading 9-3 and she caught up at 8-9; I managed to win at 11-9. I am so excited that I made it to the main draw; this was my target when the competition started. My opponent was a very good player and a left-handed player who uses pimples in her backhand and this made it more difficult for me. I think I played very well having won all my group matches at four-nil without dropping a game despite being the second seeded player in the group of four players. I am so happy and I will see what happens in the main draw match.” Yousra Helmy.
The leading names in the qualification stage of the Women’s Singles event, having secured first places in the respective groups, advanced directly to the main draw.
Thailand’s Orawan Paranang, the Czech Republic’s Katerina Tomanovska and Croatia’s Mateja Jeger alongside Serbia’s Izabela Lupulesku all topped their groups and thus advanced to the main draw.
Notable names and there was one further notable name that reserved a Women’s Singles main draw place; China’s Mu Zi, a quarter-finalist two years ago in Suzhou overcame Sweden’s Jennifer Jonsson (7-11, 11-4, 11-5, 11-8, 13-11) to keep ambitions open.
Play in the main draw of both the Men’s Singles and Women’s Singles events commences on Wednesday 31st May.