by Ian Marshall, ITTF Editor
Success against the odds for An Ji Song as the first round of the Men’s Singles event came to a conclusion; it was the same for the host nation’s Cho Seungmin, as it was for China’s Liang Jinkun.
Cho Seungmin, runner up earlier in the year in Hong Kong when beaten in the final by Kazuhiro Yoshimura, beat Frenchman, Simon Gauzy, the no.9 seed (11-4, 5-11, 12-10, 9-11, 12-10, 11-5); Liang Jinkun ended the hopes of Nigeria’s Quadri Aruna, the no.13 seed (9-11, 11-5, 17-15, 11-6, 11-7).
A notable performance from Cho Seungmin, it was the same from colleague, Lim Jonghoon; the no.15 seed, he accounted for India’s Sathiyan Gnanasekaran (9-11, 11-4, 5-11, 11-7, 11-8, 11-8).
However, for Kim Minhyeok and Jeoung Youngsik, likewise from the host nation it was an opening round farewell. Kim Minhyeok was beaten by China’s Lin Gaoyuan, the no.2 seed (11-6, 11-3, 11-5, 11-6); Jeoung Youngsik, the winner three years ago, suffered at the hands of Japan’s Tomokazu Harimoto, the no.7 seed (8-11, 12-10, 11-7, 6-11, 11-8, 11-9).
“I was a little nervous at the beginning but towards the end I managed to calm down. After one month, playing my first match after the Japan Open, I was a little nervous. I prepared as usual, practising every day. The defensive side of my game still isn’t very good.” Tomokazu Harimoto
Mixed fortunes for Korea Republic, it was very much the same for Chinese Taipei; Chen Chien-An was beaten by Brazil’s Hugo Calderano, the no.8 seed (12-10, 11-9, 11-6, 11-7), conversely Chuang Chih-Yuan, the no.12 seed, emerged successful in a mammoth contest against Frenchman, Can Akkuzu (3-11, 11-6, 9-11, 6-11, 11-5, 12-10, 12-10).
Matches in the second round of the Men’s Singles event will be played later in the day.