by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor
India’s Snehit Suravajjula finished in top spot. Listed at no.202 on the current Under 18 Boys’ World Rankings, in his opening contest he beat Korea’s Kao Min-Chi, a player with no world ranking (11-9, 10-12, 5-11, 11-4, 11-5), it proved to be a crucial win.
In his next contest he lost to Portugal’s José Pedro Francisco, named at no.93 in the current global order, the highest rated player in the group (15-13, 13-11, 6-11, 11-5). Later Snehit Suravajjula recovered to beat Argentina’s Santiago Lorenzo, listed at no.257 (11-4, 11-5, 9-11, 11-6). Meanwhile, Kao Min-Chi accounted for both Santiago Lorenzo (11-6, 5-11, 11-1, 11-6) and for José Pedro Francisco (7-11, 11-7, 11-8, 15-13); earlier Santiago Lorenzo had also overcome José Pedro Francisco (11-8, 16-14, 11-7).
Thus the end result was that Snehit Suravajjula and Kao Min-Chi both finished with two wins each; for José Pedro Francisco and Santiago Lorenzo it was one win apieve. In such instances the result of the matches between the two players concerned decides the outcome; therefore it was first place for Snehit Suravajjula followed by Kai Min-Chi, Santiago Lorenzo and José Pedro Francisco.
Top spot contrary to expectations for Snehit Suravajjula, it was the same for colleague Parth Virmani in addition to Nikhil Kumar of the United States and Japan’s Hiromu Kobayashi.
All remained unbeaten and all beat the highest rated player in their respective group. Parth Virmani accounted for Chile’s Nicolas Burgos (11-8, 11-7, 11-7), Nikhil Kumar overcame the host nation’s Peter Hribar (6-11, 6-11, 11-5, 16-14, 11-9), whilst Hiromu Kobayashi defeated Portugal’s Vitor Amorin (11-6, 11-4, 11-9).
It was to be the only defeats of the day for Nicolas Burgos and Peter Hribar; thus they secured second position in the group and a passport to the main draw. Alas for Vitor Amorim, he was also beaten by Hungary’s Patrick Juhasz (11-2, 11-6, 11-1) and thus had to settle for third place and elimination. Patrick Juhasz finished in second place.
The top eight seeds were not required to compete in the first stage.