First day of YOG World Qualification action in Vila Nova De Gaia, Portugal. Thirty two players in total are now separated into those with the chance to qualify for the YOG , and those staring at one days rest before the ITTF JC finals get going on Friday.
We successfully split the field in half today. Out of the seeded players, all sixteen except for one , will be part of tomorrow’s make up of eight straight qualification finals with the winners clinching the spot for the Youth Olympic Games. The only one breaking in from the lower seeded group was the talented right-hander Anqi LUO from Toronto, Canada who defeated Nicola STEFCOVA from the Czech Republic in seven games.
The first day of action as a whole, had its moments of excitement no doubt about that. The group winners on the boy’s side all impressed. Killian ORT from Germany showcased a whole battery of shots that has made him to one of the big climbers on the ITTF World Ranking . Precisely one year ago Killian was ranked 530 in the world – now he is 340 and judging from the three wins in the group stage today he is still just warming up. Look out for this guy in the future – he surely has the power and the game-sense to start upsetting world class players. Hugo CALDERANO from Brazil is always interesting to watch. He negotiated the Portugoise hope Diogo CHEN in six games and also defeated Patryk ZATOWKA from Poland to finish on top of his group. Another European ; Adam SZUDI from Hungary also looked good pushing the top seeded Kim MINYEON from Korea to seven games in the second round and then having enough juice in the system to fend of Padask from Thailand late in the evening to clinch his spot in the playoff.
In the girls competition you have to believe that DOO Hoi Kem from Hong Kong will take one of the four spots up for grabs. However, she is facing the unpredictable and still very gifted Thai girl Tamowlan KHETKHUAN in her qualification final tomorrow morning – not an easy task by any means . Full credit should also go to Charlotte CAREY from Wales / Great Britain who still very much is in the race to earn a spot for Nanjing. In fact the good lord of Table Tennis seems to have a good eye for the Wales lefthander , who stated that she most of all wanted to avoid the top seeded DOO in her deciding match.. And you know what?! Her prayers were answered as she now will play CHIU Ssu-Hua TPE in a win and you are in match on Thursday.