24 Mar 2018

Seven groups in the first stage of the Junior Boys’ Team event at the 2018 Italian Junior and Cadet Open in Lignano; when the initial phase had concluded on Friday 23rd March, without due alarm, all had secured first places and thus progressed to the main draw.

It was top spot for China, Italy ‘A’, Germany, Poland, Russia, Portugal and Spain.

by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Manager

However, for Poland represented by Artur Grela, Samuel Kulczycki and Jan Zandecki there was to be no quarter-final place; they experienced a three-two first round defeat at the hands of the outfit formed by Bulgaria’s Martin Petrov who joined forces with Belgium’s Quentin Jacques and David Comeliau.

A surprise, especially as in the initial phase of proceedings the trio had suffered a three nil defeat at the hands of Germany’s Meng Fanbo, Kay Stumper and Kirill Fadeev; thus finishing in second place in their group.

Defeat, the reverse was laid to rest; in the first round of proceedings it was a very different story with Quentin Jacques being the man in form. He recovered from a two games to nil deficit to beat Samuel Kulczycki by the very narrowest of margins in the opening match of the fixture (8-11, 7-11, 11-6, 11-9, 12-10), before in the decisive fifth contest accounting for Artur Grela (11-8, 13-11, 11-8) to seal the victory,

The one further win for the victors was recorded by David Comeliau, in the second match of the fixture, he accounted for Artur Grela (8-11, 11-8, 10-12, 11-9, 12-10) to give his team a two-nil lead. Poland mounted a recovery, Jan Zandecki accounted for Martin Petrov (11-8, 10-12, 11-9, 11-8), before Samuel Kulczycki overcame David Comeliau;; alas for Poland the two wins were to prove in vain.

Otherwise for remaining six leading outfits, quarter-final places were booked; in addition to Martin Petrov Quentin Jacques and David Comeliau, the one further second team in the group stage to reserve a place in the last eight was that comprising Montenegro’s Filip Radovic who joined forces with Frenchmen Guillaume Alcayde and Matteo Orsini. In the opening round they beat the Slovakian outfit of Daniel Orac, Stefan Peko and Sanuel Cyprish by three matches to two.

Meanwhile, in the Cadet Boys’ Team event Belgium, Croatia, Italy ‘A’ and Singapore, alongside China, Slovakia, Hungary and Romania progressed to the quarter-finals.

The Junior Boys’ Team and Cadet Boys’ Team events will be played to a conclusion on Saturday 24th March.

World Junior Circuit 2018 Italian Junior & Cadet Open Belgium Bulgaria

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