31 Mar 2018

A best on the ITTF World Tour, a second round exit in Belarus in 2016 after beating the host nation’s Aliaksandr Khanin; no such performance to compare at last year’s Challenge Series tournaments, Kim Minhyeok continued his progress at the 2018 ITTF Challenge Spanish Open in Guadalajara on Saturday 31st March.

Impressively at the quarter-final stage of the Men’s Singles event, the 21 year old who had been required to compete in the qualification tournament, continued to defy the odds; in four straight games he ended the progress of Japan’s Yuki Matsuyama (11-9, 11-9, 11-2, 11-9).

by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Manager

The win means Korea is guaranteed a place in the final; Kim Minhyeok is in the same half of the draw as colleague, Cho Seungmin. In a manner equally as impressive, he justified his no.4 seeded position to reserve his place in the last four.

He ended the progress of Russian defender Artur Abusev in five games (11-9, 11-8, 10-12, 11-6, 15-13).

Success as status anticipated, it was the same in the lower half of the draw for Austria’s Robert Gardos and for Iran’s Nima Alamian.

Robert Gardos, the no.2 seed, ended the hopes of Hong Kong, he accounted for Li Hon Ming, similar to Artur Abusev, a player who had been required to negotiate the two day qualification tournament.

Impressive from Robert Gardos, now one of the most seasoned international players at 39 years of age; it was the same from Iran’s 25 year old Nima Alamian, a player from a generation younger. The no.9 seed, he halted the exploits of Brazil’s Vitor Ishiy, the no.20 seed, emerging successful in five games (11-7, 7-11, 12-10, 11-6).

Defeat for Vitor Ishiy but he could reflect on what surely his best performance on either the ITTF World Tour or ITTF Challenge Series.

The semi-finals will be played later in the evening.

Challenge Series Cho Seungmin Kim Minhyeok

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