by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Manager
However, the door to first place in the group is not totally closed. Earlier in the day Hong Kong’s Kwan Ho Man had beaten Nolan Givone by a similar margin to that which the Frenchman later enjoyed success (11-8, 11-7, 10-12, 11-9, 11-9).
Thus if in the concluding match in the group Miguel Vilchez can beat Kwan Ho Man in four straight games, he will reserve first place; win in five games and it will be counting points; any other outcome and top spot belongs to Kwan Man Ho.
A surprise defeat for Miguel Vilchez as the day closed; he was not the only player who started play as the top rated player in the group and suffered defeat. Gleb Shamruk of Belarus was beaten by Australia’s Lim Hyunjo (11-5, 11-5, 11-8, 11-4), a player new to the international scene.
The win for Lim Hyunjo secured first place in the group, it was the same for India’s Raj Mondal, Germany’s Tobias Hippler and Russia’s Maksim Kiselev. All ended the day by beating the highest ranked player in their respective groups and thus reserved top spots.
Raj Mondal beat Chile’s Alfonso Olave (11-7, 11-8, 11-5, 11-4), Tobias Hippler accounted for Spain’s Carlos Caballero (8-11, 11-6, 9-11, 11-8, 11-8, 11-3); Maksim Kiselev overcame Javier Benito, also from Spain (11-7, 7-11, 11-8, 11-8, 11-9).
Meanwhile, on track to follow is Slovakia’s Jakub Zelinka; one match still to play, he remains unbeaten having most significantly defeated Sweden’s Oscar Perman (12-10, 3-11, 12-10, 11-8, 11-6), the leading name in his group.
Surprises but amongst the leading names on Men’s Singles qualification duty, with the exception of Miguel Vilchez, it was success; for Carlos Franco, also from Spain, as well as for Portugal’s Diogo Carvalho and Austria’s Simon Pfeffer it was one match played, one success.
Players finishing in first and second positions in each of the 28 groups plus four “Lucky Losers”, drawn at random from the second placed players, join the 32 seeds in the main draw.
The qualification tournament concludes on Thursday 29th March.