by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Manager
Defeat for Jeong Sangeun and somewhat a taste of his own medicine; just under one year ago at the Seamaster 2017 ITTF Asian Championships in Wuxi, he had beaten China’s redoubtable Ma Long in the third round of the Men’s Singles event.
Disappointment for Korea but there was the other side of the coin, Cho Daeseong, only 15 years old and surely destined in the near future to be a member of his country’s first team, excelled expectations to beat India’s Harmeet Desai, the no.11 seed (11-7, 14-12, 7-11, 5-11, 11-8, 11-9).
Success against the odds for Ukraine but if any country had reason to celebrate it was Belarus. Pavel Platonov beat the Czech Republic’s Tomas Konecny, the no.19 seed (13-11, 9-11, 10-12, 12-14, 12-10, 14-12); slightly more comfortably, Aliaksandr Khanin ended the hopes of Brazil’s Eric Jouti, the no.21 seed (11-7, 11-5, 12-10, 11-9).
The end of the road for Eric Jouti against the odds, it was the same for his South American colleague, Chile’s Gustavo Gomez, the no.30 seed; he was beaten by Slovakia’s Aliaksandr Khanin (11-7, 11-9, 14-12, 11-7).
Meanwhile, amongst the leading names on duty in the lower half of the Men’s Singles opening round draw, there were notable successes for Kou Lei, like Yaroslav Zhmudenko from Ukraine, as well as for Hong Kong’s Ho Kwan Kit and Korea’s Lim Jonghoon.
Kou Lei, the no.2 seed, beat Denmark’s Zhai Yujia (5-11, 13-11, 11-3, 11-7, 11-8), Ho Kwan Kit, the no.5 seed, ousted Egypt’s Ahmed Ali Saleh (11-3, 8-11, 9-11, 11-5, 11-8, 12-10); Lim Jonghoon, the no.8 seed, ended the hopes of Frenchman Stéphane Ouaiche (12-10, 11-8, 11-7, 11-6).
Play in the second round if the Men’s Single event commences later in the day.