by Ian Marshall, Editor
Zhang Jike, when due to face Yan An in the opening preliminary round, was forced to withdraw owing to a back injury. However, the progress of Yan An was abruptly ended in the next round. He was beaten by Korea Republic’s Jeong Sangeun (11-7, 13-11, 11-9, 6-11, 11-8).
Similarly, Fang Bo, runner up at the Qoros 2015 World Championships in Suzhou, departed in the second preliminary round; he was beaten by Frenchman, Can Akkuzu (11-9, 12-10, 6-11, 11-8, 6-11, 13-11). Earlier, in the opening round he had overcome Slovakia’s Tomislav Pucar (12-10, 11-3, 11-13, 11-9, 4-11, 11-6).
Meanwhile, for Jiang Tianyi, it was farewell at the expense of Indian hands; he was beaten by India’s Sathiyan Gnanasekaran (12-10, 11-6, 11-2, 11-9).
Disappointments for China but there was one notable success; Liang Jingkun booked his main draw place. Presently listed at no.103 on the Men’s World Ranking list beat Poland’s Jakub Dyjas, named at no.81 (9-11, 11-4, 11-5, 11-5, 14-12), prior to overcoming Japan’s Masaki Yoshida who stands at no.48 (9-11, 11-6, 11-3, 11-13, 11-2, 11-2).
Success contrary to status; in the second preliminary round it was the same scenario for Enzo Angles, like Can Akkuzu from France, as it was Japan’s Masataka Morizono and Korea Republic’s Kim Minhyeok. Likewise there was success contrary to ranking from the DPR Korea pairing of An Ji Song and Ham Yu Song.
Listed at no.225 on the current Men’s World Rankings, Enzo Angles beat Japan’s Mizuki Oikawa, named at no.75 (11-5, 11-9, 11-6, 11-8); Kim Minhyeok beat DPR Korea’s Pak Sin Hyok (4-11, 11-6, 5-11, 11-9, 11-6, 11-3) whilst Masataka Morizono overcame Chinese Taipei’s Lin Yun-Ju (11-7, 11-6, 11-8, 11-8, 11-8).
On the current World Rankings, Kim Minhyeok is named at no.401 as opposed to Pak Sin Hyok at no.115; Masataka Morizono is listed at no.56, four places lower than Lin Yun-Ju.
Noteworthy performances; it was the same from An Ji Song, a player with no current world status, he accounted for China’s Zhou Kai, named at no.160 (2-11, 11-7, 11-9, 5-11, 11-1, 11-5). In a similar vein, Ham Yu Song, listed at no.585 overcame Spain’s Alvaro Robles, ranked no.59; Ham Yu Song emerged successful by the very narrowest of seven game margins (11-4, 9-11, 10-12, 9-11, 11-7, 11-7, 11-9).
Defeats for ITTF World Tour Men’s Singles champions but one player who has won in on home soil in Korea, did survive; Jeoung Youngsik, although nursing an injured shoulder, beat Chinese Taipei’s Peng Wang-Wei (11-5, 11-6, 9-11, 14-12, 11-7).
“Personally I like to have the supporters cheering for me while I am playing a match. As a national team player, I think all national players have issues, especially with injuries, during competitions but it should not hinder us. We have a lot of matches left in the competition, icing the shoulder is a way of avoiding injury. I would like to tell my supporters that I appreciate their support; it encourages me to achieve my goals!” Jeoung Youngsik
The main event commences on Thursday 19th July.