by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor
Runner up earlier in the year in the Under 21 Men’s Singles event at the ITTF Challenge Series tournaments on home soil in Santiago and the following week in Brazil, , Juan Lamadrid caused a major upset.
He beat Russia’s highly talented Mikhail Paikov, crowned European Youth champion a decade ago and presently listed at no.102 on the current World Ranking list, to keep his hopes of a main draw play alive (11-7, 4-11, 11-9, 13-11, 11-9).
Defeat against expectations, for Mikhail Paikov, for his colleague and Men’s Doubles partner, Alexey Liventsov, it was the reverse scenario. Listed at no.121 on the current global listings, he accounted for Sweden’s Jon Persson, named at no.101 (11-5, 9-11, 11-5, 11-3, 11-8).
Two surprise wins, there was one more; listed at no.135 on the current Men’s World Rankings, Kazakhstan’s Kirill Gerassimenko beat Japan’s Kenta Tazoe, named at no.107 and a semi-finalist one week earlier in Bulgaria (11-4, 7-11, 11-4, 8-11, 11-3, 11-9).
Success against the odds for Alexey Liventsov, it was very nearly the same for colleague, Kirill Skachkov; list at no.122 on the current rankings, he experienced defeat by the very narrowest of margins when facing Iran’s Nima Alamian, ranked no.99 (13-11, 9-11, 3-11, 11-8, 3-11, 11-9, 11-9).
A close call for Nima Alamian, in the first preliminary round of the Men’s Singles event, it was exactly the same for Frenchman Benjamin Brossier, named at no.129 and Can Akkuzu who is listed at no.136.
Both needed the full seven games to ensure success. Benjamin Brossier eventually overcame the host nation’s Tomas Tregler, ranked no.138 (6-11, 11-4, 12-14, 11-5, 12-10, 7-11, 11-8); Can Akkuzzu ended the hopes of Slovakia’s Bai He (11-4, 4-11, 3-11, 8-11, 11-9, 11-6, 11-9).
Presently Bai He is named at no.139 on the Men’s World Rankings, three places below Benjamin Brossier.