26 Jan 2020

The first match is always one of the most difficult, it is comment made by many a player; surely if the first match is a semi-final and a place in the greatest sporting event on planet earth is at stake, the task is doubly difficult.

Such was the situation that faced Ng Pak Nam in action for Hong Kong, the no.10 seeds, on Sunday 26th January in the men’s event at the 2020 ITTF World Team Qualification Tournament in Gondomar.

by Ian Marshall, Editor

Throughout the tournament Ng Pak Nam had been resigned to the bench, the role of supporter; in the penultimate round clash against Slovakia, the no.18 seeds, he was preferred to Lam Siu Hang in what was a radical team change.

Lam Siu Hang had performed creditably; against Singapore, the no.30 seeds, in their opening fixture he had beaten both Clarence Chew (11-8, 11-5, 11-5) and Josh Chua Shao Han (11-5, 11-8, 5-11, 11-8). Facing Serbia he had lost to the man in form, Dimitrije Levajac (11-7, 7-11, 11-7, 11-7) but had beaten Zsolt Peto (10-12, 11-8, 9-11, 11-6, 11-4).

Yesterday confronting Poland he suffered against Jakub Dyjas, a most talented young man (11-7, 8-11, 11-3, 11-7).

All change

Always, Lam Siu Hang had been scheduled to play the potential two singles matches, Ho Kwan Kit and Wong Chun Ting formed the doubles pair. Facing Slovakia, it was all change and the change worked.

Ho Kwan Kit and Ng Pak Nam combined to beat Lubomir Pistej and Alexander Valuch (7-11, 11-4, 11-7, 7-11, 11-4), Wong Chun Ting overcame the defensive skills of Wang Yang (11-8, 11-9, 11-6), before Ng Pak Nam accounted for Alexander Valuch (12-10, 11-6, 7-11, 11-9) to seal the victory.

Out of the shadows

Very much for Ng Pak Nam it was out of the shadows and to some extent it was the same for Lubomir Pistej as the Czech Republic, the no.16 seeds, recorded a 3-0 win in opposition to Hungary, the no.17 seeds.

The previous day against India, the no.5 seeds, he had lost the one match in a 3-1 win, he suffered in the third encounter of the fixture against Sharath Kamal Achanta (6-11, 11-7, 11-8, 11-8). Pavel Sirucek and Tomas Polansky had been the star turns, both accounting for Sathiyan Gnanasekaran; the former in straight games (12-10, 13-11, 11-9), the latter in five (14-16, 12-10, 12-14, 11-8, 11-9).

Lubomir Jancarik, now in the limelight (Photo: Rémy Gros)


Facing Hungary, he partnered Tomas Polansky to doubles success against Nandor Ecseki and Adam Szudi (8-11, 11-7, 8-11, 11-2, 11-7), before bringing matters to a conclusion by overcoming Adam Szudi (5-11, 12-10, 13-11, 11-3). Sandwiched in between Pavel Sirucek beat Bence Majoros (11-9, 11-2, 11-9).

“I think we all played really well. We are all in good shape and we are proving our quality; that we won 3-0 is very good. Hungary is also playing very well in this tournament. We wanted to win. I must give credit to Szudi. He was playing really well but I have been playing Bundesliga and many have other experiences. I think that helped me win this match.” Lubomir Jancarik

The final is scheduled for later today at 7.00 pm (local time).

2020 ITTF World Team Qualification Event Lubomir Pistej Ng Pak Nam

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Day 5 - 2020 ITTF World Team Qualification Tournament

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