by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor
Similarly for Poland’s Jakub Dyjas and Germany’s Patrick Franziska, the goal is the same but for Slovenia’s Bojan Tokic who also appears amongst the top eight names on qualification duty, he needs help.
Defeat at the hands of Frenchman Mehdi Bouloussa on the opening day in five games (12-10, 4-11, 11-9, 11-9, 11-6) means that he must beat Chinese Taipei’s Hung Tzu-Hsiang in four straight games and hope that China’s Peng Feilong can overcame Mehdi Bouloussa in five games or better. Otherwise, the odds are it will be top spot for the Frenchman.
The one notable absentee amongst the top eight names in the search for top place in the group stage is Austria’s Robert Gardos; having lost to Chinese Taipei teenager Lin Yu-Ju (5-11, 6-11, 11-6, 11-6, 9-11, 11-9, 12-10), his hopes are over. Lin Jun-Ju who beat Italy’s Marco Rech Daldosso in the opening match in the group (11-7, 11-3, 11-3, 12-10) has already reserved first position.
One player missing from the top eight names in the Men’s Singles qualification tournament; there are no such omissions in the Women’s Singles counterpart event. One match to complete, one win will assure first place in the group.
Japan’s Saki Shibata and Miyu Maeda are on course, as are Russia’s Polina Mikhailova and Maria Dolgikh alongside Poland’s Natalia Partyka and Karazyna Gryzbowska-Franc. Likewise, it is the same scenario for Viktoria Pavlovich of Belarus and Britt Eerland of the Netherlands.
In the Men’s Singles event, players finishing in first place in groups no.25 to no.38 compete in preliminary round one; the winners advance to preliminary round two where they are joined by the players who finished in first places in groups no.1 to no.24. The winners of the matches in preliminary round two advance to the main draw.
Somewhat differently, in the Women’s Singles event, players who finish in first place in group no.1 and no.2 advance directly to the main draw; those in group no.3 to no.30 compete in a preliminary round.
Qualification the goal but also on the second day of play in Olomouc; the penultimate rounds and the finals of the Under 21 Men’s Singles and Women’s Singles events will be staged.
At the semi-final stage of the Under 21 Men’s Singles event Japan’s Yuto Kizukuri, the top seed meets Frenchman Can Akkuzu, the no.4 seed; Sweden’s Anton Källberg, the no.2 seed, opposes Chinese Taipei’s Lin Yun-Ju, the no.14 seed.
Meanwhile, in the Under 21 Women’s Singles competition, Puerto Rico’s Adrian Diaz, the top seed, plays Japan’s Asukas Sasao, the no.3 seed; Mizuki Morizono, also from Japan and the no.2 seed confronts Germany’s Nina Mittelham, the no.4 seed.