15 Mar 2021

The 2020 World Olympic Games Qualification tournament in Doha witnessed the exit of Vladimir Samsonov of Belarus due to an injury; however, a younger colleague, Aleksandr Khanin, shined.

The 44 year old withdrew when scheduled to face Turkey’s Abdullah Yigenler; conversely, earlier in the evening, 22 year old Aleksandr Khanin had caused one if the biggest upsets of the day.

Occupying the no.41 seeded position in the draw, competing in the same round, he ousted the more experienced 28 year old Czech Republic’s Pavel Sirucek, the no.10 seed (12-10, 11-8, 11-9, 11-4).

Success against the odds and a major success for Aleksandr Khanin but even he could not match the efforts of 21 years of age Jean-Mari Nayre from the Philippines, the no.60 seed. In undoubtedly one of the matches of the day, he beat Slovakia’s Lubomir Pistej, the 20 seed (7-1, 11-8, 5-11, 11-7, 5-11, 11-3, 11-9).

Departure earlier than anticipated for Lubomir Pistej, it was same for even more salubrious names. Nigeria’s Quadri Aruna, alongside the Indian duo of Sharath Kamal Achanta and Stathiyan Gnanasekaran, in addition to Kazakhstan’s Kirill Gerassimenko, all departed in round three.

Quadri Aruna, the no.2 seed, lost to Russia’s 18 year old Vladimir Sidorenko, the no.45 seed (11-3, 11-13, 6-11, 11-9, 11-4, 11-7), Sathiyan Gnanasekaran, the no.7 seed and Sharath Kamal Achanta both suffered at Italian hands. Sathiyan Gnanasekaran lost to 34 year old Mihai Bobocica, the no.36 seed (11-7, 11-6, 11-8, 11-8), Sharath Kamal Achanta to Niagol Stoyanov (9-11, 11-6, 11-8, 11-4, 8-11, 12-10).

Gradually the Italians are ever more experienced but if there was an experienced name to shine, it was Spain’s 38 year old pen-holder Jesus Cantero; the no.47 seed, in round three he overcame Mexico’s 34 year old Marcos Madrid, the no.24 seed (8-11, 11-9, 11-9, 11-7, 8-11, 11-9).

Overall, the effect, at the end of the opening day no less than six of the top 10 men’s names had had departed.

Notable survivors were, Great Britain’s Liam Pitchford, the top seed, Austria’s Robert Gardos, the no.3 seed Daniel Habesohn, the no.8 seed; Slovakia’s Wang Yang, the no.6 seed.

Liam Pitchford kept his hopes alive by beating Finland’s Benedek Olah (11-3, 11-6, 11-6, 13-11), Robert Gardos ousted Yemen’s Ebrahim Gubran, the no.67 seed (11-2, 11-9, 11-6, 11-3), Wang Yang proved too safe in defence for Turkey’s Ibrahim Gündüz 11-3, 11-3, 11-9, 11-6).

The quarter and semi-finals of all three draws will be played on Monday 15th March.

General News 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games

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