26 Oct 2018

A quarter-final exit in March in Poland, Germany’s Qiu Dang climbed one step higher in De Haan on Friday 26th October; alongside Korea Republic’s Park Ganghyeon, Japan’s Yukiya Uda and the host nation’s Cédric Nuytinck, he booked his place in the penultimate round of the Men’s Singles event at the 2018 ITTF Challenge Belgium Open.

The success more than matched his performance in 2017; at the Europe Under 21 Championships in Sochi he had also reached the semi-finals.

by Ian Marshall, Editor

A long journey, Qiu Dang commenced his quest three days ago, three days before his 22nd birthday he reached a landmark in his career and against Frenchman Leo de Nodrest at the quarter-final stage, after only scoring only three points in the opening game, it was the third game that turned matters in his favour.

After losing the opening two games without ever being in contention, he recovered and never looked back (3-11, 1-11, 11-2, 11-8, 11-8, 11-4).

“I am one of the surprises of the tournament. The match against De Nodrest was difficult. In no time I was two-nil down in games. I stayed calm and thought about better tactics. After, I played way better and won all the following games. It’s fantastic that I am in the semi-final. Tomorrow I will give my best and try to win the tournament.” Qiu Dang

Defeat for Leo de Nodrest but he can take consolation in the fact that like Qiu Dang, he commenced matters in the qualification tournament and, in a Men’s Singles event at an open international tournament, progressed further than ever before during his young career.

At the semi-final stage Qiu Dang meets Park Ganghyeon, likewise a qualifier; he kept the hopes of the Korea Republic alive by beating Slovenia’s Darko Jorgic, the no.7 seed, in a closely contested seven games duel (2-11, 14-12, 3-11, 9-11, 12-10, 11-9, 11-8).

Success for Park Ganghyeon but in the opposite half of the draw for his colleagues, it was defeat; Cho Seungmin, the no.5 seed, was beaten by Japan’s Yukiya Uda, the no.20 seed in a full distance contest (11-9, 6-11, 11-2, 11-4, 5-11, 8-11, 13-11). Meanwhile, in an engagement that was equally close An Jaehyun experienced defeat at the hands of Cédric Nuytinck, the no.8 seed (11-9, 6-11, 11-2, 11-4, 5-11, 8-11, 13-11).

“It was a nerve-wracking match against An. We both played on a very high level. After I was three-one up in games he came back but I was not stressed. In the seventh game it was a mental exercise. I was always in the front and confident that I could win. In the end it worked all out fine. It’s the third year in a row that I play on the last day in De Haan. Two times in singles, one time in doubles. Tomorrow there will be another big fight.” Cédric Nuytinck

Play in De Haan concludes on Saturday 27th October.

Challenge Series 2018 Belgium Open Qiu Dang

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Day 3 - 2018 ITTF Challenge Belgium Open

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