by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor
Wins contrary to expectations and also when previous results are taken into consideration; in 2014 on the ITTF World Tour in Sweden, Jang Woojin had beaten Sanil Shetty in four straight games, the same result as had been recorded last year when Chen Chien-An had overcome Sathiyan Gnanasekaran in Korea.
Furthermore, in the space of two days Sanil Shetty has beaten players who last year had won ITTF World Tour Men’s Singles titles. Jang Woojin won in Belarus; the previous day in the qualification stage, against the odds, he had accounted for Finland’s Benedek Olah, the winner in Nigeria.
Two upsets but they were not the biggest as matters progressed in the first round of the Men’s Singles event. The biggest was recorded by Japan’s Masaki Yoshida who accounted for Chinese Taipei’s Chuang Chih-Yuan, the no.3 seed (11-6, 11-6, 10-12, 5-11, 11-9, 11-7), the next in the pecking order by Korea’s Cho Seungmin. He accounted for Japan’s Yuto Muramatsu (11-6, 11-3, 10-12, 11-5, 9-11, 13-11).
Similar to Sanil Shetty and Sathiyan Gnanasekaran; it was a reversal of previous results for both Cho Seungmin and Misaki Yoshida. Cho Seungmin had lost to Yuto Muramatsu last year in the Czech Republic; Misaki Yoshida had suffered at the hands of Chuang Chih-Yuan on the ITTF World Tour in 2010 in Qatar and in 2015 in China.
“It’s the first time for me to win against Chuang. I had played him two times before and never even won a game. When I was leading two-nil the score was close so I took a Time Out because I knew if I won that game I had a good chance, but if I lost then it was maybe fifty-fifty. I ended up losing that game but I wasn’t nervous.” Misaki Yoshida
Defeat for Japan but the balance was in the positive. Jin Ueda was beaten by Sweden’s Mattias Karlsson, the no.9 seed (11-8, 11-6, 11-3, 7-11, 14-12) but in addition to Masaki Yoshida and Maharu Yoshimura, Jun Mizutani enjoyed success.
Successful against Korea’s Seo Hyundeok in the Men’s Team event at the 2012 Asian Championships in three straight games, Jun Mizutani repeated the dose in Gold Coast (11-9, 11-8, 11-5, 11-8).
“I hadn’t played him for five years but I’ve had good preparation for this event and I’m ready to win. The new stadium is great and the organisers here have been very nice!” Jun Mizutani
Meanwhile, in the one remaining top half of the draw Men’s Singles contest; Simon Gauzy, the no.6 seed, beat Chinese Taipei’s Chiang Hung-Chieh (11-9, 14-12, 11-7, 12-10).