15 Nov 2018

Brothers in action but some 2,290 miles apart, an estimated drive of over 42 hours depending on traffic; on Thursday 15th November for both it was success, for the elder hard earned success, for the younger rather more comfortable.

In the opening round of the Men’s Singles event at the 2018 ITTF Challenge Belgosstrakh Belarus Open in Minsk, Ukraine’s 36 year old, Oleksandr Didukh emerged successful by the very narrowest of margins; earlier in the day, 31 years of age Viktor Didukh, without the loss of a single game, had topped his Men’s Singles Class 8 group in Almeria, at the 2018 Spanish Open.

by Ian Marshall, Editor

Furthermore, Oleksandr Didukh caused the biggest upset to date in the Men’s Singles event; required to compete in the qualification tournament, he beat Thailand’s Supanut Wisutmaythgkoon, the no.12 seed and earlier this year semi-finalist at the 2018 ITTF Challenge Seamaster Nigeria Open.

Oleksandr Didukh emerged successful by the minimal two point margin in the deciding game (11-4, 8-11, 11-8, 6-11, 11-13, 13-15, 11-9).

Notably Oleksandr Didukh has somewhat of a liking for Minsk, ten years ago he reached the quarter-final stage of the Men’s Singles event; it was year when Viktor Didukh also competed on the ITTF World Tour but it was also a year when he was diagnosed with cancer. The effect was the amputation of his left leg.

Later in 2014 Viktor Didukh won the Men’s Singles Class 8 title at the World Para Championships in Beijing and with Maksym Nikolenko Men’s Team Class 6-8 at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games; the coach sitting courtside, a certain Oleksandr Didukh.

Success contrary to status for Oleksandr Didukh, as play came to a conclusion in the top half of the draw in the Men’s Singles event, there was one further player who upset the order of merit. Winner on the 2017 ITTF World Junior Circuit in Egypt, required to qualify in Minsk, Russia’s 19 year old Denis Ivonin accounted for India’s Sanil Shetty, the no.21 seed (11-9, 11-5, 17-15, 11-9).

Otherwise it was success for the notable names; Iran’s Nima Alamian, the no.3 seed, accounted for Germany’s Geritt Engemann (11-7, 6-11, 10-12, 11-3, 7-11, 11-6, 11-7), Frenchman Alexadre Robinot, the no.7 seed, overcame Russia’s Viachaslev Burov (11-9, 11-3, 11-3, 11-0).

Play in the lower half of the draw follows immediately.

Challenge Series 2018 Belarus Open Viktor Didukh Oleksandr Didukh

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Day 4 - 2018 ITTF Challenge Belarus Open