17 May 2018

A narrow margin but Frenchman Bastien Rembert, who is destined for the Buenos Aires 2018 Youth Olympic Games later this year, survived; it was the same for India’s Siddhesh Pande and Jeet Chandra, as it was for both Singapore’s Josh Chua Shao Han and Ethan Poh Shao Feng alongside China’s Li Zhi.

All emerged successful in their opening matches in the qualification stage of the Under 21 Men’s Singles event on the morning of Wednesday 16th May at the 2018 ITTF Challenge Thailand Open in Bangkok but all needed the full five games to ensure victory.

by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor

Notably, Bastien Rembert, Josh Chua Shao Han, Ethan Poh Shao Feng and Li Zhi all beat Korean opposition.

Bastien Rembert overcame Kim Dohyeong (9-11, 11-6, 6-11, 11-8, 11-4), Josh Chua Shao Han accounted for Kim Eunsoo (11-7, 8-11, 2-11, 10-12, 11-6); similarly Li Zhi defeated Baek Hogyun (11-9, 5-11, 11-7, 14-16, 11-5), Ethan Poh Shao Feng beat Jung Namju (5-11, 11-3, 6-11, 11-7, 11-6).

The exceptions to the rule were caused by Siddhesh Pande and Jeet Chandra. They accounted for Chinese Taipei adversaries. Eventually, Siddhesh Pande proved too strong for Li Hsin-Yang (11-6, 8-11, 11-4, 8-11, 11-8), Jeet Chandra is a less testing fifth game overcame Chin Mao-Ching (10-12, 11-7, 18-16, 5-11, 11-2).

Close calls but vital wins; only the players finishing in first place in each of the 15 initial stage groups join the top 16 seeds in the opening round. The one remaining place is that of the “Lucky Loser” drawn at random from the second placed players in each group.

Defeat for Korea on what was a morning for the East Asian country to forget; in addition, Chae Byeonguk lost to Thailand’s Tananan Tantakool (11-6, 9-11, 13-11, 11-9), Kim Jangwon was beaten by China’s Yan Sheng (11-5, 11-8, 11-9). Similarly Kim Daewoo suffered at the hands of Hong Kong’s Su Zhi (11-9, 11-7, 11-9) as did Son Sukhyun when facing Zhang Haonan, like Yan Sheng from China (11-6, 5-11, 11-9, 11-8).

Eight Korean players on duty in the opening series of matches in the qualification group stage of the Under 21 Men’s Singles event; eight defeats; however, hope is not lost.

Hwang Minha, Woo Hyeonggyu, Choi Inhyeok and Hwang Min, the highest rated players in their respective groups, have yet to start their campaigns.

Play in the qualification stage of the Under 21 Men’s Singles event concludes on Thursday 17th May.

Challenge Series 2018 Thailand Open Bastien Rembert Jeet Chandra Ethan Poh Shao Feng Siddhesh Pande Li Zhi Josh Chua Shao Han

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