by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor
Most impressively Ioannis Sgouropoulos, the top seed, after securing first place in his group without defeat, beat Portugal’s Samuel da Silva (11-3, 11-6, 12-10, 11-7); likewise, Aoto Asazu, the no.3 seed, topped his group without due alarm, prior to recording a first round win in opposition to Brazil’s Rafael Torino (11-6, 9-11, 11-7, 6-11, 11-7, 11-8).
Conversely, José Pedro Francisco finished in second place in his group, he was beaten by Frenchman, Dorian Zheng (11-4, 11-3, 11-6), before recovering to impart a major blow on Belgian hopes; in the opening round he fought back from a two games to nil deficit to beat a hitherto unbeaten Laurens Devos, the no.6 seed (9-11, 4-11, 11-8, 11-7, 11-7, 11-8).
Testing times and close call for José Pedro Francisco; for Takeru Kashiwa, his progress was by the very minimal margins. In the group stage of proceedings he was beaten in five games by Belgium’s Louis Laffineur (11-7, 3-11, 11-13, 11-5, 12-10) but then immediately recovered to overcome Poland’s Lukasz Wachowiak by the a similar margin to that which he had experienced defeat (11-3, 4-11, 11-7, 8-11, 11-5). Later in the concluding match in the group Louis Laffineur experienced a five games reverse at the hands of Lukasz Wachowiak (7-11, 11-6, 10-12, 15-13, 11-6).
Thus all three players were level on match ratio, also they were equal on games ratio; points ratio determined the outcome. It was first place for Takeru Kashiwa (91:85) ahead of Lukasz Wachowiak (91:93) with Louis Laffineur in third spot (96:100) and the player to miss out on a main draw place.
Takeru Kashiwa duly booked his second round place by beating Poland’s Kacper Petas (7-11. 11-5, 11-8, 11-6, 14-12) but for Lukasz Wachowiak there was no further progress. Belgium extracted revenge; in the opening round he lost to Jacques Quentin, the no.8 seed (8-11, 11-2, 12-10, 11-5, 8-11, 9-11, 11-7).
A second round place for Jacques Quentin but not for those immediately above; additional to Laurens Devos, Portugal’s Vitor Amorin, the no.5 seed, did not progress beyond the group stage, Spain’s Francisco Miguel Ruiz, the no.7 seed, who had topped his group without defeat, suffered in round one at the hands of Poland’s Kamil Dziadek (6-11, 11-3, 11-8, 11-2, 9-11, 9-11. 11-4).
Meanwhile, for those who had raised the eyebrows in the group stage, it was opening round mixed fortunes. Belgium’s Olav Kosolosky and Frenchman Antoine Doyen, who had finished ahead of Vitor Amorin it was defeat. Olav Kosolosky lost to Bilal Hamache, also from France (11-9, 12-10, 9-11, 11-5, 11-6), Antoine Doyen experienced defeat at the hands of Nicolas Degros, like Olav Kosolosky from Belgium (6-11, 11-6, 9-11, 11-7, 12-10, 13-15, 11-8).
Rather differently for Dorian Zheng, the group stage victor in opposition to José Pedro Francisco; it was success. He beat Belgium’s Romain Gasper (11-9, 4-11, 7-11, 11-4, 11-6, 11-7) to reserve his second round place.
The Junior Boys’ Singles event concludes on Thursday 18th April.