by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Manager
Fan Zhendong, after losing to Japan’s 14 year old Tomokazu Harimoto (11-8, 8-11, 11-9, 11-8), concluded his initial itinerary with success against Kazakhstan’s Kirill Gerassimenko (11-8, 11-4, 11-8).
In a similar manner Lin Gaoyuan who had experienced defeat at the hands of Korea’s Lee Sangsu (11-8, 11-5, 11-5) accounted for Hong Kong’s Jiang Tianyi (11-5, 11-7, 11-6) to bring his first stage schedule to an end.
Good form from Tomokazu Harimoto and Lee Sangsu; that good form continued, both ended the group qualification stage unbeaten, both overcame adversaries from Chinese Taipei. Tomokazu Harimoto accounted for Chuang Chih-Yuan (10-12, 11-5, 11-6, 11-5) to secure first place; similarly, Lee Sangsu accounted for Chen Chien-An (15-17, 14-12, 11-6, 14-12).
The day unbeaten, for Hong Kong’s Wong Chun Ting, the no.3 seed; he also ended the day without a loss against his name. He overcame Iran’s Noshad Alamiyan (11-4, 11-6, 9-11, 11-6) to finish one place ahead of Japan’s Koki Niwa; playing on home soil, Koki Niwa duly completed his group phase matches with success in opposition to Korea’s Jeong Sangeun (9-11, 11-6, 11-6, 4-11, 11-8).
Respective third places finished in the hands of Chuang Chih-Yuan, Chen-An and Jeoung Sangeun. They now join Iran’s Nima Alamian in the challenge round. Competing in the regional group, Nima Alamian beat Saudi Arabia’s Abdulaziz Al-Abbad in three straight games (11-3, 11-8, 11-8) to end the day unbeaten and in first place.
He now meets Chuang Chih-Yuan in an attempt to reserve a place in the quarter-finals; Chen Chien-An faces Jang Sangeun.
The challenge round followed by quarter-finals and semi-finals will be played on Saturday 7th April.