by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Manager
Playing on the main show court, Fang Bo beat Italy’s Niagol Stoyanov (7-11, 11-6, 6-11, 11-8, 14-12, 11-8); later, rather more comfortably Yan An overcame Indonesia’s Luki Muhammad Purkani (11-8, 11-6, 11-1, 11-5).
Two very different contests with the seasoned international, Niagol Stoyanov proving a testing adversary
“A tough match, it takes time to adjust to the arena and the table. It doesn’t matter which table I play on, for me, the table makes no difference. I just need to be fully engaged in the match. Today I played just so-so; I was not sufficiently alert because I haven’t played in a competition for a while. I need to adjust. Today I was kind of nervous.” Fang Bo
Success for Fang Bo, the Men’s Singles runner up at the Qoros 2015 World Championships in Suzhou but like Yan An, has he really fulfilled the promise shown in Cartagena de Indias now almost a decade ago?
Did we not anticipate more and that they would develop into front line members of the Chinese national team, who would not be required to compete in the qualification rounds?
“Today, my opponent was not particularly strong, it was important to adjust to the atmosphere; whatever the format. I am fully prepared. Yan An
Notable performances and there was also an effort of note from another player who had attracted the attention when competing in a World Junior Championships. Korea’s Choe Eonrae, the runner up in the first two editions, staged in Santiago in 2003 and the following year in Kobe, caused somewhat of an upset by beating Chinese Taipei’s Hung Tzu-Hsiang (11-9, 11-7, 9-11, 11-7, 12-10).
Presently on the Men’s World Rankings, Cho Eonrae is named at no 420, Hung Tzu-Hsiang stands at no.172 (11-9, 11-7, 9-11, 11-7, 12-10).
A win against the odds for Cho Eonrae; notably it was the same in the opening round of the qualification tournament for Denmark’s Zhai Yujia and Ewout Oostwouder of the Netherlands as play began.
Ranked no.149, Zhai Yujia beat Frenchman Andrieu Landrieu, named at no.112, by the very narrowest of decisions (7-11, 6-11, 11-4, 11-9, 9-11, 11-8, 11-9); Ewout Oostwouder accounted for Hong Kong’s Lam Siu Hang (11-9, 9-11, 11-13, 11-6, 11-6, 11-7).
On the current World Rankings, Ewout Oostwouder appears at no.233, Lam Siu Hang occupies to no.75 spot.