by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Manager
First place in the group assured on the opening day; Patrick Baum was one of four players to achieve the feat; the other three being Korean
Similar to Patrick Baum, Cho Eonrae, An Jaehyun and Kim Minhyeok all ended the first day of play in Bremen by beating the highest rated player in their respective groups.
Having accounted for Belgium’s Florent Lambiet (11-13, 12-10, 10-12, 11-6, 11-2, 11-6), An Jaehyun overcame Hong Kong’s Ng Pak Nam (11-3, 11-9, 11-9, 11-7). It was very much the same for Kim Minyeok. He beat the Czech Republic’s Lubomir Jancarik (6-11, 11-2, 11-4, 11-8, 7-11, 11-2) prior to causing Hong Kong even more anguish. In his concluding contest he ended the hopes of Lam Sui Hang (11-9, 9-11, 12-10, 11-5, 11-6).
Meanwhile, for Cho Eonrae the first place was achieved in a more academic manner; he received a walk-over when due to face the injured Frenchman, Quentin Robinot. In his opening contest, Cho Eonrae had beaten Kanak Jha of the United States (4-11, 11-7, 11-2, 11-7, 6-11, 11-8).
Seeding upsets but for the very top names there were no surprises but there were close calls; Japan’s Maharu Yoshimura and Masaki Yoshida experienced no great problems. It was a similar situation for Chinese Taipei’s Chen Chien-An. However, for the host nation’s Ruwen Filus, Nigeria’s Quadri Aruna and Frenchman Emmanuel Lebesson, life was much more exacting.
Ruwen Filus, needed the full seven games to beat Russia’s Viachaslev Burov (8-11, 11-7, 18-16, 11-9, 9-11, 11-7, 11-7), as did Quadri Aruna when facing Bulgaria’s Philipp Floritz (11-9, 11-8,- 11-13, 11-8, 9-11, 10-12, 11-8). Likewise, Emmanuel Lebesson was extended the full distance by compatriot Benjamin Brossier (8-11, 11-9, 9-11, 11-9, 5-11, 11-3, 11-5).
Play in the Men’s Singles qualification tournament continues on Wednesday 21st March.