by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor
In the opening round he accounted for Portugal’s José Pedro Francisco, the no.8 seed, in arguably the closest match of the day, the Romanian emerging successful by the very minimum two point margin in a dramatic seventh game (11-9, 11-6, 7-11, 6-11, 11-7, 8-11, 16-14).
However, any hopes of further progress were brought to an abrupt end. In the round of the last eight, Russia’s Artur Abusev, the top seed, who had recorded a full distance first round success against Egypt’s Ahmed El-Borhamy (11-7, 11-7, 9-11, 11-7, 8-11, 12-14, 11-3), ended Romanian adventures in four straight games (11-7, 11-4, 11-5, 11-2).
A semi-final place duly booked by the top seed, it was the same for the next four names in the order of merit.
Frenchman, Bastien Rembert, the no.2 seed, accounted for Nigeria’s very impressive 12 year old Taiwo Mati (11-4, 8-11, 11-8, 13-11, 11-7), before ending the hopes of the host nation’s Youssef Abdel-Aziz (4-11, 11-8, 11-8, 11-9, 14-12).
Impressive from Bastien Rembert, it was the same from Romania’s Rares Sipos, the no.3 seed as it was from Russia’s Denis Ivonin, the no.4 seed.
Rares Sipos beat Egypt’s Karim El-Hakem (11-8, 9-11, 13-11, 4-11, 11-5, 11-4) prior to overcoming Frenchman, Remi Menand, the no.5 seed (11-9, 6-11, 11-9, 11-8, 11-8). Similarly, Denis Ivonin defeated Australia’s Roohan Dhooria (11-4, 11-9, 11-7, 11-7) and Austria’s Maciej Kolodziejczyk (11-8, 15-13, 11-7, 8-11, 11-5) on his journey to the semi-finals.
In the penultimate round Artur Abusev confronts Rares Sipos; Bastien Rembert opposes Denis Ivonin.
Success for the leading names in the Junior Boys’ Singles event, in the counterpart Junior Boys’ Doubles competition there was one upset. At the quarter-final stage the Romanian combination of Cristian Chirita and Rares Sipos, the no.2 seeds, experienced defeat at the hands of the host nation’s Youssef Abdel-Aziz and Karim El-Hakem (12-10, 11-4, 6-11, 11-13, 11-4).
The semi-finals witness Youssef Abdel-Aziz and Karim El-Hakem versus José Pedro Francisco and Maciej Kolodziejczyk, the no.3 seeds; in the opposite half of the draw Remi Menand and Bastien Rembert, the top seeds, oppose Denis Ivonin and Nigeria’s Azeez Solanke, the no.4 seeds.
Play in Sharm El-Shiekh concludes on Sunday 15th October.