by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Manager
A somewhat surprise first place for Alexis Orencel; it was the same for colleague Matias Guadalupe as it was for Borgar Haug, like Finn Vetvik from Norway. Likewise, Poland’s Samuel Kulczycki, Serbia’s Nikola Grujic and Iran’s Arya Amiri caused upsets.
Impressive performances; all remained unbeaten and all accounted for the highest rated player in their respective groups.
Pride of place went to Borgar Haug; he overcame Japan’s Takeru Kashiwa, the no.5 seed (12-10, 12-10, 3-11, 12-10), gold medallist the previous day in the Boys’ Team competition, most significantly remaining unbeaten throughout.
The performance rather overshadowed the efforts of Argentina’s Matias Guadalupe who beat Brazil’s Eduardo Tomoike, the no.4 seed (11-9, 11-9, 11-9) and Poland’s Samuel Kulczycki who accounted for Santiago Lorenzo, the no.10 seed and like Matias Guadalupe from Argentina (11-7, 11-6, 11-9).
Equally, put into the shade was the win secured by Serbia’s Nikola Grujic against Poland’s Przemyslaw Walaszek, the no.11 seed (8-11, 11-5, 7-11, 12-10, 11-7) and by Arya Amiri when facing Nikola Grujic’s colleague Dimitrij Levajac, the no.12 seed (6-11, 11-9, 11-9, 11-8).
Defeats but consolation; it was to prove for the prominent names their only defeat. Thus second place in the group and a passport to the main draw was secured.
Meanwhile for the names at the very top of the list there were no such heartaches; Austria’s Maciej Kolodziejczyk, Argentina’s Martin Bentancor and Japan’s Aoto Asazu duly remained unbeaten top secure first places in their respective groups.