by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Manager
Montenegro’s Filip Radovic secured top spot in his group but only just; the host nation’s Jonathan Thimon had to settle for second place.
Filip Radovic was extended the full five games distance by Singapore’s Nicholas Chong (11-9, 10-12, 5-11, 11-9, 11-3), prior to overcoming Switzerland’s Barish Mouller by a very similar margin (9-11, 11-6, 6-11, 13-11, 11-5).
Brave efforts from Barish Mouller and Nicholas Chong but neither secured a main place; both experienced defeat at the hands of Israel’s Tal Israeli; the former in four games (11-5, 7-11, 11-8, 18-16), the latter in three straight games (11-4, 11-8, 11-5). Tal Israeli, who lost to Filip Radovic in three straight games (11-6, 11-6, 11-6), duly finished in second place in the group and thus advanced to the main draw.
Second place in the group for Tal Israeli, it was the same for Jonathan Thimon, at no.91 on the current Under 18 Boys’ World Rankings, he was beaten by Russia’s Gleb Ivanov, named at no.390 (8-11, 11-5, 11-5, 11-8). It was to prove the only defeat for Jonathan Thimon; thus with players finishing first and second in each group advancing to the second stage, a main draw place was secured.
Gleb Ivanov remained unbeaten to top the group on what proved a most fruitful day for Russia; contrary to expectations colleagues Lev Volin, Denis Izumrudov, Artem Dvoynikov and Damir Akhmetsafin also remained unbeaten to secure first places in their respective groups.
Play in both the Junior Boys’ Singles event concludes on Thursday 22md February.