22 Dec 2018

Play in the group phase of proceedings concluded on Thursday 20th December at the 2018 Thailand Para Open in Chang Mai; in the Men’s Singles wheelchair categories there were first places for the top seeded names.

Russia’s Evgenii Riazantcev, the host nation’s Anurak Laowong and Wanchai Chaiwut alongside Japan’s Toshihiko Oka, all ended the day unbeaten and thus advanced to the main draw.

by Ian Marshall, Editor

However, there were surprise top spots; the names to note being Japan’s Mitsuhiro Matsuo, Iraq’s Ali Al Saedi and the host nation’s Niyom Nachai in addition to the Korea Republic duo of Jeon Taebyeong and Park Jaehyeon.

Competing in Class 1-2, the event in which Evgenii Riazantcev duly secured first place in his group; Mitsuhiro Matsuo and Ali Al Saedi were the players to excel. Mitsuhiro Matsuo beat the host nation’s Natthawut Thinathet, the no.2 seed (11-7, 13-11, 7-11, 11-8), Ali Al Saedi accounted Macao’s Chu Cheng Lao (13-11, 11-6, 11-4). Defeats but the only defeats for Natthawut Thinathet and Chu Cheng Lao; thus main draw places were reserved.

A surprise defeat for Natthawut Thinathet, in Class 4 it was a surprise success for Niyom Nachai; he accounted for Japan’s Hiroki Sakazaki, the no.3 seed (11-6, 11-3, 11-7) in an event where colleague Wanchai Chaiwut and Korea Republic’s Lee Kyeonghun, the top two seeds, duly secured group first places. Hiroki Sakazaki duly ended matters in second position and this advanced to the second stage.

Similarly, in Class 5, it was defeat for seeded players but progress to the main draw. Gerardus Van Grunsven of the Netherlands, the no.3 seed, lost to Jeon Taebyeong (9-11, 13-11, 10-12, 11-9, 11-3), Iraq’s Adel Khalid Challib suffered at the hands of Park Jaehyeon (11-2, 11-5, 11-9). Problems for Gerardus Van Grunsven and Adel Khalid Challib but not for the top two names; Toshihiko Oka and Kentaro Doi, the respective top two seeds ended the day unbeaten and in first places.

Surprise pole positions; not in Class 3, the principal names all secured first places. It was top spot for Anurak Laowong, as it was for colleague Yuttajak Glinbanchuen and Russia’s Vladimir Toporkov.

The second stage of play will be concluded later in the day.

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