20 Oct 2017

An opening defeat at the hands of Korea’s Lee Sangsu on the afternoon of Friday 20th October in the initial group stage of proceedings at the Liebherr 2017 Men’s World Cup in Liège, Belgium; Nigeria’s Quadri Aruna, the no.14 seed, responded to secure second position and thus reserved his place in the main draw.

Players finishing in first and second positions in each of the four groups join the top eight rated players who gained direct entry to the main draw.

by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor

However, make no mistake; progress was not without moments of concern.

Against Lee Sangsu, the no.9 seed, Quadri Aruna had been beaten by the narrowest of margins (11-8, 1-11, 7-11, 5-11, 11-5, 11-5, 11-4, 12-10). One wondered as the contest again Kanak Jha of the United States, the no.19 seed, progressed, would there be a similar outcome?

Quadri Aruna trailed by two games to one before levelling matters. He won the fifth and then from 5-all in the sixth game found a rhythm that enabled him to secure six points in a row to seal the victory (7-11, 11-8, 6-11, 11-6, 11-5, 11-5).

Second place secured, it was the same for Ukraine’s Kou Lei, the no.11 seed, he overcame Australia’s David Powell, the Oceania Cup winner (11-7, 11-2, 11-4, 11-3) and thus finished next in line to Portugal’s Marcos Freitas.

Meanwhile, in the two remaining groups, first position was at stake; Russia’s Alexander Shibaev and Korea’s Jeong Sangeun emerging the successful players.

Alexander Shibaev, the no.16 seed, accounted for the host nation’s Cédric Nuytinck, the no.17 seed (11-8, 11-8, 12-10, 11-5), to end the host nation’s hopes. He secured top spot ahead of Egypt’s Omar Assar, the no.11 seed; Jeong Sangeun, the 15 seed, on Men’s World Cup debut, overcame Brazil’s Gustavo Tsuboi, the no.18 seed (5-11, 11-4, 13-11, 11-6).

Defeat for Gustavo Tsuboi but with Chinese Taipei’s Chen Chien-An absent through illness, it was second place in the group and progress to the knock-out stage.

Day 1 - Liebherr 2017 ITTF Men's World Cup

Photos: Christophe Neuville


World Cup 2017 Liebherr Men's World Cup Quadri Aruna

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Day 3 - Liebherr 2017 Men's World Cup

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