by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Manager
Notably, after losing to Daniel Palacios, Cho Eonrae withdrew from proceedings; nevertheless for the 20 year old Spaniard who, last year when the tournament was staged in Alicante had not advanced beyond the group stage, it was a notable achievement.
Matters concluded on a high note for Daniel Palacios, it was the same for Hong Kong’s Kwan Man Ho, Italy’s Chen Shuainan, Russia’s Petr Fedotov and Slovakia’s Ingemar Peter; all maintained their unbeaten records, accounting for the highest rated players in the group to reserve main draw places.
Kwan Man Ho and Chen Shuainan both beat Spanish opposition. Kwan Man Ho accounted for Miguel Vilchez (11-6, 6-11, 13-15, 11-8, 15-13), Chen Shuainan defeated Guillermo Martinez (11-3, 12-10, 11-7, 8-11, 9-11, 8-11, 11-6). Hard fought wins, it was even harder for Ingemar Peter. He overcame Iran’s Mohammadali Rouintanesfahani in an even closer seven games duel than that experienced by Chen Shuainan; he prevailed by the minimal two point margin in the deciding game (11-8, 9-11, 12-10, 15-13, 5-11, 6-11, 13-11).
Victory by narrow margins for Ingemar Peter; it was only marginally less exacting for Petr Fedotov; he needed six games to overcome Qatar’s Mohammed Abdulwahhab (12-10, 11-8, 11-6, 10-12, 9-11, 11-8).
Defeat for Mohammad Abdulwahhab and the end of the road; not so, he gained one of the four “Lucky Loser” places for players who had finished in second positions in their respective groups. The other three went to Slovakia’s Martin Guman alongside Spain’s Joan Masip and Guillermo Martinez.
Meanwhile, for the leading names in qualification action, with the exception of Miguel Vilchez, there was a successful conclusion. Spain’s Carlos Franco beat Iran’s Arman Hajiei (11-7, 11-6, 7-11, 11-7, 16-14), Portugal’s Diogo Carvalho accounted for Austria’s Maciek Kolodziejczyk (8-11, 11-7, 9-11, 11-7, 11-5, 11-6), whilst the latter’s colleague, doused the aspirations of Chile’s David Valenzuela (11-5, 13-11, 11-6, 11-6).
Play in the main draw commences on Friday 30th March.