Tournaments

05 Apr 2019

Wins contrary to expectations for Hong Kong’s Wong Chun Ting and Chinese Taipei’s Chuang Chih-Yuan, as play concluded in the men’s event on Friday 5th April at the Lion 32nd ITTF-ATTU Asian Cup Yokohama 2019; it meant that each player finished their initial phase group in a position contrary to originally predicted.

Second place and thus progress to the quarter-finals was the lot for Wong Chun Ting; for Chuang Chih-Yuan, his efforts proved in vain, fourth spot and farewell was the end result.

by Ian Marshall, Editor

Both players, exciting to watch, dazzling in the rallies, Wong Chun Ting, the no.7 seed, beat Jang Woojin, the no.5 seed (9-11, 11-7, 11-7, 11-7) to bring a dismal day to an end for the 23 year old from the Korea Republic. He ended the day without a win to his name.

A fine display by Wong Chun Ting, it was the same from Chuang Chih-Yuan; the no.8 seed, he accounted for the host nation’s Koki Niwa, the no.4 seed (11-8, 12-10, 11-6) and thus maintained his quite incredible record on the international scene when facing the talented 24 year old. Commencing with the ITTF World Tour 2010 Austrian Open, they have now met eight times; Chuang Chih-Yuan has won all eight!

Undoubtedly a most impressive record but in Yokohama it was to be his only win; Chuang Chih-Yuan finished level with India’s Sathiyan Gnanasekaran, the no.10 seed, with one win apiece. However, as Sathiyan Gnanasekaran had beaten Chuang Chih-Yuan earlier in the day (11-5, 11-4, 11-8), third position finished in the hands of India.

In his concluding contest Sathiyan Gnanasekaran experienced defeat at the hands of Korea Republic’s Lee Sangsu, the no.3 seed (11-7, 11-4, 6-11, 11-6) who, thus like Koki Niwa, ended the day with two wins against his name. However, as one match earlier, Koki Niwa had beaten Lee Sangsu (5-11, 11-8, 11-5, 11-9), it was first place for Koki Niwa, runners up spot for Lee Sangsu.

Meanwhile, for Wong Chun Ting, he ended matters next in line to China’s Fan Zhendong, the top seed, with Kazakhstan’s Kirill Gerassimenko in third position. Intent on retaining his title, Fan Zhendong beat Kirill Gerassimenko, the no.12 seed, in four games (11-9, 11-8, 9-11, 11-6) to end the day unbeaten.

“I have played with him several times recently. He has made some progress, I am happy that I won finally. I think I am in normal condition now. Hope I can get better in the knock out stage” Fan Zhendong

Imposing from Fan Zhendong, it was the same from colleague, Ma Long, the no.6 seed; he closed the door on his initial phase itinerary by overcoming Chinese Taipei’s Lin Yun-Ju, the no.9 seed (11-5, 6-11, 11-5, 11-5). Thus top spot in the group was secured, Japan’s Tomokazu Harimoto, the no.2 seed, eventually overcame India’s Sharath Kamal Achanta, the no.11 seed, in a hard fought five games contest (11-6, 14-12, 9-11, 5-11, 11-7) to reserve second place. Lin Yun-Ju ended the day in third spot, fourth place being the end result for Sharath Kamal Achanta.

In the preliminary round to be played on the morning of Saturday 6th April, Thailand’s Supanut Wisutmaythangkoon, who earlier in the day had secured first place in the regional group, meets Lin Yun-Ju; Kirill Gerassimenko opp0ses Sathiyan Gnanasekaran.

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Day 2 - Lion 2019 ITTF-ATTU Asian Cup