17 Oct 2019

A familiar face in recent years on the international scene, Poland’s Tomasz Kotowski alongside China’s Kuai Man, a young lady who has made her presence felt on this year’s ITTF World Junior Circuit, were very much the players to attract the attention on the first day of play, Wednesday 16th October, at the 2019 ITTF Challenge Polish Open in Wladyslawowo.

Contrary to status each reserved their places in the main draw of the respective men’s singles and women’s singles events.

by Ian Marshall, Editor

Impressively Tomasz Kotowski beat Ukraine’s Anton Limonov (8-11, 11-9, 11-7, 5-11, 11-7), before accounting for Russia’s Denis Ivonin, the highest rated player in the group (14-12, 16-11, 12-10).

Top spot in the group for Tomasz Kotowski contrary to expectations, it was the same for Japan’s Satoshi Aida and Jo Yokotani as it was Korea Republic’s Baek Kwangil and Park Chanhyeok. Likewise, top places against ranking predictions were gained by China’s Yan Sheng and Zhao Zhaoyan, a situation that applied also to Brazil’s Carlos Ishida.


However Tomasz Kotowski was the only member of the contingent competing in a group where first place meant direct access to the knock-out stage; for the others a preliminary round awaits. A total of 43 groups in the initial stage of proceedings, players finishing in first places in group no.1 to group no.21 advanced to the main draw; those in group no.21 to group no.43 must compete in a preliminary.

Good form from Tomasz Kotowski, it was the very same from Kuai Man, the winner this year on the ITTF World Junior Circuit in Croatia, Italy and Thailand.

In the opening round of the women’s singles event she beat Russia’s Maria Malanina, the no.3 seed (11-8, 11-9, 11-9), prior to in the group stage of proceedings accounting for both Poland’s Katarzyna Wegrzyn (11-4, 11-7, 11-9 and Daria Trigolos of Belarus (11-3, 11-3, 11-9).

First places

Unbeaten in the group phase of the women’s singles event, thus top spot for Kuai Man contrary to expectations and a place in the main draw, it was the same for colleague Shi Xunyao, Poland’s Julia Szymczak and Turkey’s Ece Harac, a scenario that was also the lot of Singapore’s Pearlyn Koh Kai Xin as well as Chinese Taipei’s Chien Tung-Chuan and Hsu Yi-Chen.

All gain direct entries to the main draw; for Zhou Jingi, also from China, a preliminary round beckons; in the women’s singles event there are 33 groups in the initial phase, thus one preliminary round is required.

Highest rated enjoy success

Notably in both the men’s singles event, for England’s Tom Jarvis, the highest rated player on opening day duty, it was one match played, one win; in the counterpart women’s singles event, the same outcome for China’s Zhang Qiang.

Likewise, in the under 21 men’s singles event, Russia’s Denis Ivonin, the top made a successful start to his campaign, he beat England’s Matthew Daish (11-6, 7-11, 11-6, 11-6); similarly, in the under 21 women’s singles competition it was a first round success for Audrey Zarif of France, the leading name on duty. She overcame the Czech Republic’s Gabriela Stepanova (11-5, 15-13, 11-5).

Disappointment for Matthew Daish but there was consolation; partnering Serbia’s Aleksa Gacev and opening preliminary round success was recorded against Slovakia’s Tibor Spanik and Alexander Valuch.

Play in the qualification tournament concludes on Thursday 17th October.

Challenge Series 2019 Poland Kuai Man Tomasz Kotowski

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Day 3 - 2019 ITTF Challenge Polish Open