by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor
Lin Gaoyuan beat Japan’s Kazuhiro Yoshimura (11-7, 11-8, 11-9, 6-11, 11-6), Bastian Steger accounted for Frenchman Abdel-Kader Salifou, whilst Jonathan Groth overcame Sweden’s Anton Källberg (11-5, 7-11, 11-6, 14-12, 11-8) and Liang Jingkun ended the hopes of Slovakia’s Lubomir Pistej (11-3, 12-10,11-3, 12-14, 12-10).
Comfortable successes, for one further notable name, there were testing times; facing Germany’s Patrick Baum, Egypt’s Omar Assar needed the full seven games to ensure victory (11-7, 5-11, 12-10, 11-9, 6-11, 7-11, 11-9)
“I played well most of the match after playing many games here already. From one-one I played very offensive. He has very good control so it is very difficult to get the ball past him. I am very thankful to be able to close this match and qualify for the main draw.
It’s always difficult to qualify for the main draw. The standard of the World Tour is rising so all the matches are tough to win and then qualify, especially at Platinum events. Every match in qualification is always very long and tough. It is fun to play in the main draw, I also have the advantage going into the main draw as I have now already played three hard matches in the main hall so I am warm and used to the conditions.” Omar Assar
The contest between Omar Assar and Patrick Baum very much attracted the attention and rather overshadowed a quiet and efficient performance by Spain’s Alvaro Robles.
Required to compete in two qualification rounds, he accounted for both Sweden’s Jens Lundqvist (11-9, 11-9, 11-5, 11-8) and Japan’s Yuki Hirano (11-9, 11-6, 11-3, 11-1); very impressive indeed.