30 Nov 2017

A total of 24 groups in the initial stage of each of the Boys’ Singles and Girls’ Singles events at the 2017 ITTF World Junior Championships in Riva del Garda, Italy; on Thursday 30th November the goal was to gain a top two finish in order to join the 16 seeds in the first round of the main draw.

In the Boys’ Singles event the top names on duty all emerged successful; Sweden’s Truls Moregard, India’s Manav Vikash Thakkar and England’s Tom Jarvis alongside Japan’s Yuta Tanaka all ended the day without defeat.

by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor

However, lower down the order there were surprise first places.

Poland’s Artur Grela and Germany’s Kay Stumper in addition the Koreans pairing of Kwak Yubin and Baek Hogyun all remained unbeaten, all finished in first places in their respective groups, all defeated the top named player.

Artur Grela beat Tobias Hippler, also from Germany (11-9, 8-11, 8-11, 11-9, 11-3, 11-8), Kay Stumper accounted for Austria’s Maciej Kolodziejczk (11-6, 11-6, 9-11, 11-9, 11-9). Similarly Kwak Yubin overcame Chinese Taipei’s Tai Ming-Wei (6-11, 11-13, 11-8, 11-8, 11-6, 6-11, 11-5), Baek Hogyun prevailed against Italy’s Antonino Amato (11-8, 9-11, 11-7, 11-6, 3-11, 11-6).

Disappointment for Tobias Hippler, Maciej Kolodziejczk, Tai Ming-Wei and Antonino Amato but it was their only defeats, second place and a passport to the main draw was secured.

Success for the leading names in the group qualification stage of the Junior Boys’ Singles event; in the counterpart stage of the Junior Girls’ Singles competition there was a notable casualty. Crystal Wang of the United States, the second highest rated player on duty lost to Romania’s 13 year old Elena Zaharia (11-4, 9-11, 5-11, 11-9, 14-12, 11-7).

Elena Zaharia duly remained unbeaten to top the group; Crystal Wang finished in second place and thus advanced to the main draw.

One surprise first place in the initial stage of the Junior Girls’ Singles event and there were three more; Slovenia’s Ana Tofant, the Czech Republic’s Zdena Blaskova and Hong Kong’s Fung Wai Chu all ended the day unbeaten, in first places in their respective groups and with victories over the highest rated in their group.

Anna Tofant beat Germany’s Jennie Wolf (5-11, 11-4, 11-2, 8-11, 3-11, 11-8, 11-6), Zdena Blaskova overcame Chinese Taipei’s Chen Ting-Ting (11-4, 11-7, 11-4, 11-6), whilst Fung Wai Chu accounted for Serbia’s Tijana Jokic (11-4, 10-12, 11-6, 11-6, 11-9).

Jennie Wolf, Chen Ting-Ting and Tijana Jokic with no further losses finished in runners up spot and thus advanced to the main draw.

Meanwhile, other than for Crystal Wang, for the other names at the top of the order it was a trouble free day. Hong Kong’s Wong Chin Yau, Serbia’s Izabela Lupulesku and Thailand’s Jinnipa Sawettabut all ended the day without defeat

The first round of the main draw in bith the Junior Boys’ Singles and Junior Girls’ Singles events will be played on Friday 1st December.

World Junior Championships 2017 World Junior Championships Truls Moregard

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