by Simon Daish
Hungarian competitor Adam Szudi relishes a challenge, and knew he would have to be at his best in the last 16 of the Under 21 Men’s Singles tournament if he was to come out on top in his fixture against Japan’s Yuto Kizukuri.
Very little separated the two players throughout the course of the match, but Adam Szudi held the slight edge beating his opponent over four games (12-10, 9-11, 11-9, 11-7) to advance through to the next stage of the competition.
There was more drama seen in the encounter between Belarus’ Aliaksandr Khanin and Chou Te-Hao of Chinese Taipei, as the crowd in Panagyurishte witnessed a thrilling five games duel.
In an end-to-end battle both players demonstrated quality table tennis worthy of a spot in the quarter-finals, but only one competitor could achieve that goal and after five intense games it was Aliaksandr Khanin who ended the match with a smile on his face (12-14, 11-5, 15-13, 8-11, 12-10).
Another tie that required the full five ends distance featured Manav Vikash Thakkar, who pulled off the comeback of the round in the Under 21 Men’s Singles category.
Manav Vikash Thakkar faced a difficult encounter against Chinese Taipei’s Yang Heng-Wei in the Round of 16 but against all the odds it was the Indian player who emerged triumphant (10-12, 12-10, 7-11, 12-10, 11-6), sealing his place in the quarter-finals with style.
Japan will have three representatives in the next round after Mizuki Oikawa, Koyo Kanamitsu and Yuma Tsuboi all prevailed in their respective encounters against Bence Majoros (11-4, 11-8, 6-11, 11-7), Elias Ranefur (11-4, 11-5, 11-6) and Yang Tzu-Yi (11-7, 11-9, 10-12, 11-9).
The remaining two positions in the last eight will be occupied by the Czech Republic’s Tomas Polansky and Chinese Taipei’s Lin Yun-Ju, who saw off Nandor Ecseki (11-5, 3-11, 11-7, 11-7) and Rares Sipos (11-7, 11-6, 12-10) to successfully extend their time in the event.