15 Mar 2021

England’s Liam Pitchford was the biggest name to fall, Belgium’s Florent Lambiet emerged as the most surprising name to reach a final; such was the outcome on Monday 15th March at the 2020 World Singles Olympic Games Qualification tournament in Doha.

Alongside Florent Lambiet, the Czech Republic’s Lubomir Jancarik, Hungary’s Bence Majaros and Ukraine’s Kou Lei secured final places, as rather more predictably did Panagiotis of Greece and Slovakia’s Wang Yang.

by Ian Marshall

Man of the moment, the player to cause the major upset was Lubomir Jancarik, the no.30 seed. Following success against Spain’s Alvaro Robles, the no.18 seed (4-11, 4-11, 15-13, 11-8, 12-10, 12-10), he ousted Liam Pitchford, the top seed (11-6, 2-11, 13-11, 9-11, 11-7, 12-10).

Kou Lei now awaits; the no.12 seed, he accounted for Paraguay’s Marcelo Aguirre, the no.17 seed (6-11, 11-6, 11-7, 10-12, 11-7, 11-7) followed by success in opposition to Italy’s Niagol Stoyanov, the no.31 seed (11-6, 11-8, 14-16, 11-3, 12-10).

Progress for Kou Lei, it was the same from Florent Lambiet, the no.32 seed, who overcame Italy’s Mihai Bobocica, the no.36 seed (5-11, 13-15, 5-11, 11-9, 11-5, 12-10, 11-6).

Florent Lambiet now confronts Hungary’s Bence Majoros, the no.15 seed, the winner in opposition to Turkey’s Abdulla Yingeler, the no.48 seed (13-11, 11-9, 11-9, 9-11, 11-8), and Romania’s Ovidiu Ionescu, the no.28 seed (11-8, 5-11, 7-11, 4-11, 11-9, 11-9, 11-7).

Fast attacking play the order of proceedings; in the one remaining final, defensive artistry is on view. Slovakia’s Wang Yang, the no.6 seed, opposes Panagiotis Gionis of Greece, the no.10 seed.

Wang Yang accounted for Hungary’s Adam Szudi, the no.35 seed (11-7, 11-7, 7-11, 8-11, 11-8, 11-7), after having ousted Spain’s Jesus Cantero, the no.47 seed (11-6, 11-6, 7-11, 11-6, 9-11, 6-11, 11-7).

Meanwhile, in equally hard-fought contests Panagiotis Gionis defeated Argentina’s Horacio Cifuentes, the no.23 seed (6-11, 11-6, 11-6, 11-5, 11-8), prior to overcoming Russia’s Kirill Skachkov, the no.13 seed (5-11, 11-6, 11-9, 18-20, 11-7, 5-11, 11-8).

The matches will be staged on Tuesday 16th March.

General News Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games Liam Pitchford Kou Lei Bence Majoros Lubomir Jancarik Florent Lambiet

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