by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor
Both experienced surprise defeats but both ended the day in second places in their respective groups and thus advanced to the main draw; players finishing in the top two places in each group advance to the knock-out stage.
Nikhil Kumar, the no.5 seed, was beaten by Hong Kong’s Choy Chun Kit (12-10, 11-6, 10-12, 5-11, 12-10); Michael Tran, the no.6 seed, suffered at the hands of Chinese Taipei’s Tsai Kai-Jen (11-9, 5-11, 11-5, 7-11, 11-8). Choy Chun Kit and Tsai Kai-Ken remained unbeaten and thus duly topped the groups.
Two surprise first places and two leading names having to settle for runners up spots; it was the same scenario in three further groups as the favourites for pole position stumbled.
Hong Kong’s Wong Hon Lam, the no.7 seed, was beaten by Canada’s Kenny Jiang (11-8, 5-11, 12-10, 11-9); Thailand’s Nawin Mekamporn suffered at the hands of Chinese Taipei’s Hsu Po-Hsuan (11-9, 12-10, 11-5). Similarly, Singapore’s Andy Wong Yan Kai lost to Pau Yik Man, like Wong Hon Lam from Hong Kong (12-10, 11-6, 11-8).
Five surprise first places; in the remaining seven groups it was top spot as status advised.
Hong Kong’s Maurice Kai Ning Chong, Lau Chun Kit, Yiu Kwan To and Chan Yee Shun duly topped their groups, as did Singapore’s Pang Yew En Koen, Portugal’s Tiago Li and Lau Chun Kit.
Meanwhile in the one remaining group; a group with no world ranked players on duty, India’s Dhairya Parmar finished ahead of Hong Kong’s Yu Nok and England’s Jamie Liu.