25 Mar 2018

One step short just under a month ago in Hodonin when beaten in the final of the Buenos Aires 2018 Youth Olympic Games – Europe qualification tournament by Romania’s Cristian Pletea; Azerbaijan’s Yu Khinhang climbed one step higher in Rades, Tunisia on Saturday 24th March.

At the Buenos Aires 2018 Youth Olympic Games – Africa tournament, against the odds, occupying the no.16 seeded position, he defied the order of merit

by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Manager

An opening round success against Algeria’s Abdelbasset Chaichi (11-4, 11-8, 11-9,11-7, Yu Khinhang caused a major second round shock by beating Austria’s Maciej Kolodziejczyk, the no.2 seed, in five games (11-4, 12-10, 9-11, 12-10, 11-8).

Undoubtedly the win over Maciej Kolodziejczyk was a confidence booster. Yu Khinhang went from strength to strength; he accounted for Serbia’s Dimitrije Levajac, the no.13 seed (11-7, 11-7, 9-11, 11-9, 14-16, 11-3), before overcoming Hungary’s Csaba Andras, the no.9 seed, in the penultimate round (7-11, 11-8, 11-3, 11-5, 11-5).

Notably Csaba Andras was a player in form; in the second round he had ended the progress of Canada’s Jetemy Hazin, the no.4 seed (7-11, 11-7, 8-11, 9-11, 11-7, 11-9, 11-7).

Hard fought wins, a place in the final booked, Yu Khinhang overcame Singapore’s Pang Yew En Koen, the no.11 seed (12-10, 5-11, 11-9, 11-2, 11-6) to reserve his Buenos Aires invitation.

Excelling expectations, causing upsets, it was very much the same Pang Yew En Koen. In the second round he had caused arguably the upset of the day. He ousted India’s Manav Vikash Thakkar, the top seed (8-11, 8-11, 11-9, 3-11, 11-2, 12-10, 12-10, 11-5), prior to overcoming Belgium’s Laurens Devos, the no.8 seed (13-15, 11-7, 11-8, 11-5, 5-11, 11-9) to reserve his penultimate round place where the good form continued. He accounted for Portugal’s José Pedro Fernandez, the no.5 seed (11-8, 117, 13-11, 11-7) to reserve his place in the final.

Similar to Csaba Andras, José Pedro Fernandez was a player in form; at the quarter-final stage he had beaten Iran’s Amin Ahmadian (11-8, 11-8, 1-11, 11-7, 5-11, 10-12, 11-7), the winner the previous day of the Junior Boys’ Singled title at the 2018 Tunisia Junior and Cadet Open.

Now attention turns to Sunday 25th March for the second qualification tournament.

Continental Tournaments – Qualifiers (as on Sunday 17th December)

Africa: Youssef Abdel Aziz (Egypt), Nathael Hamdoun (Tunisia)
Asia: Tomokazu Harimoto (Japan), Lin Yun-Ju (Chinese Taipei), Wang Chuqin (China), Cho Daeseong (Korea)
Europe: Ioannis Sgouropoulos (Greece), Vladimir Sidorenko (Russia), Medardas Stankievicius (Lithuania), Vladislav Urdu (Moldova)
Latin America: Nicolas Burgos (Chile), Guillerme Teodoro (Brazil)
North America: Kanak Jha (United States)
Oceania: Nathan Xu (New Zealand)

Africa: Esther Oribamise (Nigeria), Marwa Alhodaby (Egypt)
Asia: Miu Hirano (Japan), Sun Yingsha (China), Jinnipa Sawettabut (Thailand), Su Pei-Ling (Chinese Taipei)
Europe: Lucie Gauthier (France), Mariia Tailakova (Russia), Ning Jing (Azerbaijan), Nadezhda Bogdanova (Belarus)
Latin America: Adriana Diaz (Puerto Rico), Bruna Takahashi (Brazil)
North America: Amy Wang (United States)
Oceania: Vong Hui Ling (New Zealand)

Road to Buenos Series (as on Saturday 24th March)

Europe: Bastian Rembert (France), Cristian Pletea (Romania)
Europe: Yu Khinhang (Azerbaijan)

Europe: Andreea Dragoman (Romania), Lee Ka Yee (Hong Kong)
Africa: Tatiana Kukulkova (Slovakia)

2018 Road to Buenos Aires Africa Yu Khinhang

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