by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Manager
The hand skills as deft as in Poland, the no.22 seed, he accounted for Korean colleague, Cho Seungmin, the no.2 seed, in four games (12-10, 7-11, 11-5, 11-11).
Accepted that both layers are from the same national team, nevertheless, it was a performance of note against the player who is four years his senior and was the silver medallist in the Boys’ Singles event at the Sun International 2016 World Junior Championships in Cape Town.
Success for Korea against expectations; it was the same for An Jaehyun, the no.28 seed, he accounted for Denmark’s Anders Lind, the no.13 seed (11-3, 14-12, 11-9).
Defeat for two seeded players of note and there were defeats for two more in the opening round of the Under 21 Men’s Singles event; the biggest of which was the win recorded by Kanak Jha of the United States. The no.23 seed, he accounted for Romania’s Cristian Pletea, the no.8 seed (1-11, 11-9, 11-7, 11-5).
The one remaining reverse for a seeded player could not be considered an upset; China’s Yu Ziyang, the no.35 seed, the 2014 World Junior champion, ended any hopes harboured by Slovenia’s Deni Kozul, the no.12 seed; he emerged successful in three straight games (11-9, 11-9, 11-6).
First round exits for seeded names; however, with the exception of Cho Seungmin, for those at the top of the order of merit, it was opening round success.
Japan’s Mizuki Oikawa, the top seed, beat Germany’s Tobias Hippler, the no.22 seed (11-2, 11-4, 11-7); also from Japan, Yuto Kizukuri, the no.3 seed, defeated Iran’s Armam Hajiei, the no.31 seed (11-7, 11-6, 11-9), whilst Frenchman Joe Seyfried, the no.4 seed, recovered from a two games to nil deficit and the brink of despair to defeat Konstantin Angelakis of Greece, the no.30 seed (3-11, 7-11, 12-10, 11-4, 11-4).
The second round and quarter-finals of the Under 21 Men’s Singles event will be played on Wednesday 21st March.