15 Aug 2018

Places in the main draw of the Men’s Singles event at the Seamaster 2018 ITTF World Tour Asarel Bulgaria Open in Panagyurishte at stake, as the preliminary round of the qualification tournament came to a close on the evening of Wednesday 15th August, the names of China’s Zheng Peifeng and Ma Te caught the eye, as did those of Chinese Taipei’s Lin Yun-Ju, Germany’s Qiu Dang and the Korea Republic’s Baek Hogyun.

Furthermore, Aliaksandr Khanin of Belarus was not to be upstaged.

by Ian Marshall, Editor

In fact, it could be argued that despite world ranking, 20 year old Aliaksandr Khanin was the pick of the crop; listed at no.122 on the current Men’s World Rankings, he beat Russia’s Mikhail Paikov, named at no.302 but the man in form. The previous day against the odds, he had beaten Japan’s Misaki Yoshida, listed at no.57 (11-8, 9-11, 13-11, 9-11, 11-9, 10-12, 12-10) to top his group.

One day later it was a different story; Aliaksandr Khanin imposed his authority on proceedings from start to finish. He emerged successful in four straight games (11-8, 12-10, 11-7, 11-7).

Likewise Lin Yun-Ju progressed as expected, globally listed at no.36, he beat China’s Zhao Zihao, a player with no current world ranking; the 16 year old won the match of the round. He prevailed in a seven games marathon (7-11, 11-9, 11-5, 8-11, 11-7, 8-11, 13-11).

Success as status predicted, for Zheng Peifeng. like Zhao Zihao a player with no world ranking, as for Ma Te, Qiu Dang and Baek Hogyun it was success contrary to status. Zheng Peifeng, who had represented China at the 2011 World Junior Championships in Bahrain, beat Belgium’s Cédric Nuytinck, world ranked no.56 (11-9, 11-8, 11-6, 11-2); equally imposing Ma Te, ranked no.448, overcame the Czech Republic’s Pavel Sirucek, listed at no.79 (11-3, 11-7, 10-12, 11-5, 11-8).

Impressive, it was the same from Qiu Dang, who stands at no.214 on the current rankings, he accounted Frenchman, Quentin Robinot, named at no.96 (11-4, 11-0, 11-5, 8-11, 11-1). Similarly but in a harder fought contest, Baek Hogyun overcame Russia’s Alexander Shibaev (9-11, 11-7, 12-10, 11-6, 11-13, 11-8). Currently on the Men’s World Rankings, Baek Hogyun is named at no.426, Alexander Shibaev at no.33.

Notable wins against higher rated opposition for aspiring Chinese players; it was very much the same in the preliminary round of the Women’s Singles event. Alongside the Korea Republic’s Park Joohyun, Wen Jia and Liu Gaoyuan caught the eye.

Standing at no.676 on the Women’s World Rankings, Park Joohyun raised the eyebrows. She beat Russia’s Yana Noskova, named at no.74 (11-5, 11-4, 7-11, 7-11, 11-3, 11-3). A gap of over 600 places, the success put the efforts of Wen Jia and Liu Gaoyuan somewhat into the shadows; both ending Slovakian hopes. Wen Jia, ranked no.178, accounted for Barbora Balazova, named at no.83 (11-6, 8-11, 13-11, 11-8, 12-10); Liu Gaoyuan overcame Tatiana Kukulkova (12-10, 11-6, 11-4, 11-7).

Presently Liu Gaoyuan is named at no.399 in the world order, Tatiana Kukulkova at no.147.

Qualification over, the main event commences on Thursday 16th August.

World Tour 2018 Seamaster Bulgaria Open Lin Yun -Ju Qiu Dang Aliaksandr Khanin Zheng Peifeng Ma Te Baek Hogyun

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Day 4 - 2018 Seamaster ITTF World Tour Asarel Bulgaria Open

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