by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Manager
Notably Lim Jonghoon has four career ITTF World Tour Under 21 Men’s Singles titles to his credit, in 2016 he won in Hungary and Korea Republic, last year successfully defended his Korean title and in addition won in Japan. Furthermore, earlier this year he clinched the Men’s Singles title at the 2018 ITTF Challenge Polish Open in Spala.
Meanwhile, 17 year old Yukiya Uda has enjoyed success in the junior ranks; in particular being the runner up in the Boys’ Singles event at the 2016 ITTF World Cadet Challenge in Shanghai but he has no senior success that compares with Lim Jonghoon.
Success contrary to seeding and there were more such outcomes in the opening round of the Under 21 Men’s Singles event. However, whether they are upsets when the names of the players in question are considered is a matter of opinion.
China’s Niu Guankai and Xu Haidong emerged successful. Niu Guankai, the no.18 seed, beat Japan’s Koyo Kanamitsu, the no.13 seed (11-8, 11-6, 7-11, 14-12). Similarly, Xu Haidong, the no.28 seed accounted for Masaki Takami, the no.12 seed and also from Japan (11-6, 7-11, 14-12, 11-7),
Upsets according to status and more accrued. Chinese Taipei’s Lai Chi-Chen, the no.24 seed, ended the hopes of Austria’s Andreas Levenko, the no.10 seed (11-9, 5-11, 11-4, 14-12), whilst Zhang Kai of the United States, the no.26 seed, overcame Slovenia’s Deni Kozul. The no.17 seed Zhang Kai emerged successful in what was to prove the closest match of the round. He recovered from a two games to nil to succeed by the narrowest of margins in the deciding fifth game (4-11, 9-11, 11-7, 11-4, 11-9).
Otherwise with the exception of Lim Jonghoon it was a successful start to the day for the leading names.
Japan’s Yuto Kizukuri, the no.2 seed, beat Feng Yijun of the United States, the no.27 seed (11-5, 11-8, 11-7), Frenchman Joe Seyfried, the no.3 seed, accounted for India’s Manav Vikash Thakkar, the no.20 seed (11-9, 7-11, 11-2, 11-8). Likewise, Korea’s Cho Seongming prevailed. He beat Australia’s Anthony Zhao, the no.25 seed (11-7, 11-3, 11-3).
The second round will be played later in the day.