by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Manager
It was success against the highest rated player in the group; however he was not alone in achieving the feat; seven further players emulated the efforts of the teenager to reserve top spot.
Notable success came the way of Korea as Kim Donghyun and Jeoung Youngsik caused India heartaches. Kim Donghyun beat Soumyajit Ghosh (11-8, 11-6, 15-13, 11-6), Jeoung Youngsik overcame Sanil Shetty (11-7, 11-8, 11-4, 11-5).
Similarly, Alexey Liventsov and Kirill Skachkov flew the flag for Russia; Alexey Liventsov beat Sweden’s Anton Källberg (11-8, 8-11, 10-12, 11-9, 11-8, Kirill Skachkov accounted for Portugal’s João Geraldo (11-9, 7-11, 11-6, 11-8, 11-7).
Fine performances, it was the same from Slovenia’s Bojan Tokic who overcame Brazil’s Gustavo Tsuboi (6-11, 12-10, 11-7, 11-3, 11-7), as it was from Slovakia’s Lubomir Pistej who defeated Romania’s Hunor Szocs (11-6, 11-2, 9-11, 11-6, 10-12, 11-8) and Panagiotis Gionis of Greece who ended the aspirations of Austria’s Daniel Habesohn (6-11, 11-6, 11-8, 11-6, 8-11, 13-11).
Surprise first places secured on the second day of action; it was the same for Andrieu Landrieu of France and the host Japan’s Mizuki Oikawa but in a rather different manner.
Both concluded their group phase matches with defeats against the highest rated player in their respective groups. Andrea Landrieu lost to Belgium’s Cédric Nuytinck in six games 9-11, 11-7, 10-12, 11-8, 11-5, 11-8) but the previous day had beaten Japan’s Yuma Tsuboi in five games (11-8, 15-13, 6-11, 11-5, 11-7), the player against whom Cédric Nuytinck had experienced defeat in seven games (11-7, 11-9, 14-16, 8-11, 11-3, 6-11, 11-6).
In a similar manner, Mizuki Oikawa experienced a seven games reverse at the hands of Benedikt Duda in a his concluding group stage contest (5-11, 10-12, 11-3, 11-8, 11-6, 9-11, 11-5) but on the opening date of action had overcome Sweden’s Truls Moregard in five games (11-6, 11-7, 11-6, 10-12, 11-8), the player who in the very next match was to beat Benedict Duda in four straight games (11-7, 13-11, 11-8, 11-7).
Thus on games ratio, Andrieu Landrieu (6:5) finished ahead of Cédric Nutinck (7:6) and Yuma Tsuboi (5:7); Mizuki Oikawa secured pole position (7:5) with Truls Moregard (4:7) and Benediktv Duda (4:7) next on the list.
Problems for notable names, but no such travails for the very elite names on qualification tournament duty; the Japanese duo of Maharu Yoshimura and Masaki Yoshida alongside Germany’s Ruwen Filus and Nigeria’s Quadri Aruna duly remained unbeaten to reserve first places in their respective groups.
All players proceed to the preliminary rounds, the players finishing in first places in groups no.1 to group no.14 receive a direct entry to the second preliminary round, all others compete in the first preliminary round.
The winners of the second preliminary round advance to the main draw; the qualification tournament concludes on Thursday 22nd March.