by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor
Crucially Hayata Suzuki accounted for Spain’s Sergi Grau, the no.10 seed (11-5, 11-5, 6-11, 7-11, 11-5), Yuma Tanigaki overcame Romania’s Mihai Pop, the no.13 seed (11-6, 11-3, 11-9, 11-7).
Defeats for Sergi Grau and Mihai Pop, alas for both it was third place in the group. In addition Sergei Grau suffered at the hands Romania’s George Vrabie (11-5, 11-5, 6-11, 7-11); Mihai Pop was beaten by Poland’s Goncalo Gomes (11-3, 11-9, 19-21, 11-6). George Vrabie and Mihai Pop concluded matters in second places and thus advanced to the main draw.
Progress to the knock-out rounds for Hayata Suzuki and Yuma Tanigaki; it was the same for the one further Japanese player on duty. Riki Kagami, 16 years old, lost to Spain’s Alvaro Gainza (11-9, 11-9, 9-11, 3-11, 11-7) but overcame the host nation’s Samuel da Silva, the no.8 seed (11-9, 6-11, 11-3, 11-9). The outcome was second place in the group behind the unbeaten Alvaro Gainza who likewise accounted for Samuel da Silva (12-10, 11-4, 8-11, 4-11, 11-1).
Unexpected main draw places and there were three other names who caught the eye. Spain’s John Ander Guerricauta, England’s Matthew Daish and Russia’s Alexey Perilyev all reserved main draw places contrary to expectations.
Surprises but not where the leading names were concerned; Iran’s Amin Ahmadian, Thailand’s Yanapong Panagitgun and Iran’s Amirreza Abbasi all topped their respective groups, as did Romania’s Cristian Chirita.
Play in the Junior Boys’ Singles event concludes on Thursday 23rd November.