by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor
Winner on the ITTF World Tour in Belgrade in 2006 and seven years later in Belarus, Kaii Yoshida, maintaining pen-hold traditions, accounted for Russia’s Denis Ivonin (11-8, 11-6, 11-6, 10-12, 11-7) and the Czech Republic’s Antonin Gavlas (11-3, 11-8, 11-9, 11-9).
Presently on the Men’s World Rankings, Denis Ivonin is at no.347, Antonin Gavlas at no.210.
Impressive from Kaii Yoshida, it was the same from Zhai Yujia, the winner of Under 21 Men’s Singles events on the GAC Group 2015 ITTF World Tour in both Kuwait and Austria. He opened his account with success against the Czech Republic’s Stanislav Kucera, globally ranked at no.338 (11-6, 11-7, 11-4, 11-4), prior to overcoming Laurens Tromer of the Netherlands, listed at no.216 (12-10, 12-10, 11-4, 11-9).
Problems for two notable names on qualification duty but that was not the situation for the top names; for Frenchman Abdel-Kader Salifou and Brazil’s Cazuo Matsumoto in addition to the Russian duo of Alekey Liventsov and Kirill Skaschkov , it was one match played one match one.
Abdel-Kader Salifou beat Poland’s Samuel Kulczycki (11-6, 11-7, 12-10, 8-11, 11-13), Alekey Liventsov overcame the Czech Republic’s Patrik Klos (11-5, 11-4, 11-9, 11-7). Similarly, Kirill Skachkov defeated Slovakia’s Tomas Kopanyi (11-9, 11-3, 11-4, 11-5), Caszuo Matsumoto accounted for Nigeria’s Olajide Omotayo (11-8, 9-11, 11-2, 8-11, 11-8, 11-3).
In the Men’s Singles qualification tournament players finishing in first places in groups no.1 to group no.13 advance directly to the main draw; those in group no.14 to group no.51 must compete in a preliminary round.
Notably both Kaii Yoshida and Zhai Yujia must compete in the preliminary round.