01 Apr 2018

A place in the Men’s Singles final at the 2018 ITTF Challenge Spanish Open in Guadalajara at stake on the evening of Saturday 31st March, in the penultimate round Austria’s Robert Gardos and Korea’s Kim Minhyeok emerged successful.

Robert Gardos, the no.2 seed, beat Iran’s Nima Alamian, the no.9 seed, in a five games encounter (11-9, 10-12, 11-5, 11-8, 15-13); in six games Kim Minhyeok, who had started his quest for honours some three days earlier in the qualification tournament, overcame colleague and no.4 seed, Cho Seungmin (11-7, 5-11, 11-7, 8-11, 11-6, 11-8).

by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Manager

It was for both Koreans, the end of a long hard day.

Additional to the semi-final duel, their third Men’s Singles contest of the day, earlier both had progressed through two rounds to reach the Men’s Doubles final, Kim Minhyeok in partnership with Cho Eonrae, Cho Seungmin in harness with An Jaehyun.

Furthermore, as with Saki Shibata in the female events, having won the Under 21 Women’s Singles title in the mid-afternoon, he played a total of eight matches in the day.

Cho Seungmin is only 19 years old; Kim Minhyeok is 20 years of age. They are young, one match after another, no problem!

Now Robert Gardos is from an earlier generation, he is 39 years old, next year eligible to play in veteran events!

In Guadalajara he was more prudent; although a highly successful Men’s Doubles exponent, having in harness with Daniel Habesohn been crowned European champions in 2012 in Herning, the Austrian decided that discretion was the better part of valour and stuck just to the Men’s Singles.

However, I suspect his legs might just welcome a soak in hot bath, he played three matches, a total of 15 games; most importantly he won 12 of them!

The final of the Men’s Singles event, follows the Women’s Singles final which is scheduled to start at 11.50 am (local time) on Sunday 1st April.

Challenge Series 2018 Spanish Open Cho Seungmin Robert Gardos Nima Alamian Kim Minhyeok

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