by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor
Jang Seongil overcame Singapore’s Josh Chua Shao Han, the no.4 seed (11-9, 6-11, 11-9, 11-13, 11-6) before overcoming Sirapat Wongthosarat, like Thyme Sanglertsilpachai from Thailand, to secure first place(11-4, 11-7, 11-7.
Similarly, Thyme Sanglertsilpachai beat Australia’s Rohan Dhooria, the no.5 seed (11-8, 11-9, 7-11, 11-6) prior to cementing top spot in his group by defeating Singapore’s Shawn Kee Yang Chua (11-4, 12-10, 8-11, 11-6).
Pertinently, Josh Chua Shao Han duly beat Sirapat Wongthosarat (16-14, 7-11, 11-9, 7-11, 11-5) to secure second place in his group and thus a passport to the main draw; alas for Rohan Dhooria, it was to be third place and thus no progress to the next stage. He was beaten by Shawn Kee Yang Chua (11-4, 12-10, 8-11, 11-6).
The end of the road for Rohan Dhooria, it was the same for Panama’s Jacobo Vahnish; he finished in third place in his group.
However, spare a thought for the promising young man from South America; the draw could hardly have been tougher. In the same group was China’s Xue Fei, the runner up in the Boys’ Singles event at the 2015 World Junior Championships in La Roche sur Yon but in recent times absent from the international scene and thus a player with no world ranking.
He beat Jacobo Vahnish in three straight games (11-6, 11-2, 11-7), prior to overcoming Singapore’s Bevan Tan in a similar imposing manner (11-9, 11-5, 11-2); in the second match of the fixture, Bevan Tan beat Jacobo Vahnish in four games to secure runners up spot (4-11, 11-5, 13-11, 11-9).
Success against a seeded player, it was also the achievement of Xue Fei’s colleague, Chen Yaxuan, likewise worthy of a high ranking but without international exposure. He accounted for Switzerland’s Cédric Tschanz (11-4, 16-14, 11-9) and Thailand’s Nawin Mekamporn (11-4, 11-4, 11-6) to reserve first place in the group.
One defeat for Cédric Tschanz and immediately following there was another. He was beaten by Nawin Mekamporn (6-11, 11-7, 5-11, 11-7, 11-5).
Problems for four players with current world rankings; for the remaining three, the very top names, there were no such problems, the Chinese trio of Wang Chuqin, Xu Xingbin and Song Zhuoheng duly secured first places in their respective groups.
Success for China in the first stage of the Junior Boys’ Singles event; it was the same in the first stage of the Cadet Boys’ Singles competition.
Alongside Song Zhuoheng; Niu Guankai, Chen Yaxuan, Chen Yuanyu and Shen Feng all topped their groups.
Furthermore, there was good news for Jacobo Vahnish, the no.2 seed behind Song Zhuoheng; he duly remained unbeaten to reserve first place in his group.
Play continues on Saturday 24th June.