by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Manager
India ‘A’, represented by Jeet Chandra, Manush Utpalbhai Shah and Manav Vikash Thakkar, was stretched to the limit by the Korea ‘A’ Team comprising Han Yeongseom, Lee Seunghwan and Kim Minsu; the player to cause the top seeds problems being Lee Seunghwan.
He beat both Jeet Chandra in the opening match of the fixture (11-4, 11-9, 13-15, 11-4) and Manav Vikash Thakkar (11-9, 7-11, 8-11, 11-7, 11-9). Hero of the hour for India was Jeet Chandra, in the crucial fifth match of the engagement he overcame Han Yeongseom by the very narrowest of margins in an epic five games duel (11-8, 8-11, 10-12, 12-10, 12-10).
The only defeat for Korea ‘A’, thus they finished in second position in their group and advanced to the main draw.
Success against Korea in a thrilling duel, it was to some extent the same for the French trio comprising Bastien Rembert, Irvin Bertrand and Jules Rolland; they needed the full five matches to overcome the Korea ‘B’ combination of Yang Yechan, Park Gyeongtae and Woo Hyeoonggyu.
Mainstay of the French victory was Irvin Bertrand, he accounted for both Park Gyeongtae (10-12, 11-5, 11-5, 11-5) and in the fifth and decisive match of the fixture Yang Yechan (11-5, 11-4, 11-6).
First place for India ‘A’ and France ‘A’, it was the same for the remaining leading outfits but in less testing fashions.
The French pairing of Lilian Bardet and Le de Nodrest alongside Iran’s Ahmed Amanian, the no.3 seeds, duly topped their group as did the no.4 seeds, the China ‘A’ combination of Xu Yingbin, Yu Heyi and Quan Kaiyuan.
Likewise, for the host nation, it was first place in the group for the team comprising Yanapong Panagitgun, Supakron Pankhaoyoy, Tananan Tantakool and Thyme Sanglertsilpachai; the quartet commenced play as the no.5 seeds.
Play in the Junior Boys’ Team event concludes on Thursday 10th May.