by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor
At the quarter-final stage of proceedings, Bode Abiodun, the no.9 seed, emerged successful in a full distance contest in opposition to India’s Sanil Shetty, the no.8 seed (12-10, 11-7, 13-11, 10-12, 9-11, 5-11, 11-6) and thus kept the host nation’s hopes of a podium finish alive.
He is the only Nigerian player to progress to the concluding day of play.
Success, for Bode Abiodun contrary to expectations; it was arguably even more contrary to expectations as Sarthak Gandhi balanced the scales for India. A qualifier, he accounted for Congo Brazzaville’s Saheed Idowu, the no.16 seed, in five games (11-7, 8-11, 11-6, 11-9, 11-6).
Notable performances; Bode Abiodun and Sarthak Gandhi rather overshadowed the efforts of Hungary’s Marton Szita. The no.13 seed, he caused what could be termed the biggest surprise of the round. He beat Finland’s Benedek Olah, the no.4 seed and defending champion in a contest that required the full seven games to determine the outcome (11-7, 11-7, 5-11, 14-12, 10-12, 4-11, 11-5).
Three upsets and two full distance contests, the one remaining quarter-final Men’s Singles encounter was not an upset but seven games were needed to determine the winner.
Egypt’s Omar Assar, the no.2 seed, overcame Frenchman, Antoine Hachard, the no.5 seed (11-8, 9-11, 7-11, 11-7, 12-10, 10-12, 11-7) and in so doing reversed the verdict of their most recent meeting in a world ranking event. At the GAC Group 2015 ITTF World Tour Korea Open in Incheon, the verdict had gone in favour of Antoine Hachard.
At the semi-final stage, Bode Abiodun meets Sarthak Gandhi, Omar Assar opposes Marton Szita.
The matches in the penultimate round of the Men’s Singles event follow the Women’s Singles semi-finals which commence at 10.00am on Sunday 13th August.