by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor
Defeat for Vitor Amorin but it was his only mishap; second place and thus progress to the main draw was secured.
First place against the odds for Khaled Khader; it was the very same for Saudi Arabia’s Abdulaziz Alamri. He remained unbeaten to top his group with Nigeria’s Taiwo Mati, only 12 years old, in second position. Significantly, the host nation’s Marwan Abdelwahab, the no 12 seed and highest rated player in the group, had to settle for third place and thus no progress to the main draw.
Impressively, Abdulaziz Alamri beat Marwan Abdelwahab, in four games (11-9, 10-12, 11-9, 11-4), having earlier accounted for Taiwo Mati by a similar margin (11-7, 10-12, 11-5, 11-3). Defeat for Taiwo Mati but in his concluding contest, with just the loss of the third game, he accounted for Marwan Abdelwahab (11-6, 11-6, 8-11, 11-3).
Surprise first places and there was one more but in rather different circumstances. Australia’s Rohan Dhooria was the player to cause the upset. He beat Romania’s Florin Spelbus, the leading player in the group and the no.13 seed, in three straight games (11-7, 13-11, 11-2) but then experienced defeat at the hands of Egypt’s Omar El-Safty, in five games (12-10, 9-11, 11-9, 9-11, 11-6).
However, in his opening contest, Florin Spelbus had overcome Omar El-Safty in three straight games (11-2, 11-8, 14-12). Therefore games ratio determined the final order; Rohan Dhooria finished in first place (5:3), ahead of Florin Spelbus (3:3) and Omar El-Safty (3:5).
Unexpected group winners but not amongst the leading names; it was first place for Russia’s Artur Abusev and Denis Ivonin as it was for the French duo of Bastien Rembert and Remi Menand.
Likewise, Romania’s Rares Sipos, who was extended the full five games distance by Egypt’s Mohamed Azzam (11-6, 11-5, 9-11, 9-11, 11-2), remained unbeaten to top his group, as did Austria’s Maciej Kolodziejczyk, Egypt’s Youssef Abdel-Aziz and Portugal’s José Pedro Francisco.
Play in the Junior Boys’ Singles event continues on Saturday 14th October, when the curtain closes on the penultimate day of action, the semi-finalists will be known.