Prominent names, Germany’s Thomas Schmidberger and China’s Feng Panfeng alongside the Korea Republic’s Kim Younggun and Turkey’s Abdullah Ozturk, all completed their group stage matches in first positions in the Men’s Singles wheelchair events at the 2018 ITTF World Para Championships in Lasko-Celje on Wednesday 17th October.
Thus, as anticipated, main draw places were booked.
Competing in Class 3, Thomas Schmidberger, the top seed, accounted for Spain’s Miguel Rodriguez-Martinez (11-7, 11-8, 11-5) and Thailand’s Yuttajak Glinbanchuen (11-8, 11-4, 11-6). Similarly, Feng Panfeng, the no.2 seed and defending champion overcame Anurak Laowong, also from Thailand (11-8, 11-4, 11-3) and Poland’s Maciej Nalepka (11-9, 11-2, 11-13, 11-4).
Imposing performances; it was the same in Class 4 from Kim Younggun and Abdullah Ozturk. Top seed, Kim Youngun beat both Spain’s Francisco Javier Lopez Sayago (11-7, 11-7, 11-6) and Thailand’s Wanchai Chaiwut (11-7, 11-5, 11-7) to reserve his main draw place. In rather closer contests, Adullah Ozturk overcame Croatia’s Tomislav Spalj (6-11, 11-8, 11-2, 11-5) and then Frenchman Alexandre Delarque in a very unusual contest; in the first game he did not record a single point! Eventually, he won in five games (0-11, 11-9, 8-11, 11-4, 11-5)
Meanwhile, in the remaining Men’s Singles wheelchair categories, where the leading names played just one match, it was success for the highest rated.
In Class 1, gold medallist in Rio de Janeiro, Great Britain’s Rob Davies, the no.2 seed, accounted for Frenchman, Alan Papirer (11-5, 11-2, 11-4); Korea Republic’s Joo Youngdae, the silver medallist and top seed, overcame Russia’s Dmitry Lavrov (11-4, 11-9, 11-5).
Likewise in Class 2, Frenchman, Fabien Lamirault, the top seed, opened his account with victory over Mexico’s Victor Reyes Turcio (14-12, 9-11, 11-8, 11-4); Poland’s Rafael Czuper, the no.2 seed, prevailed in opposition to Serbia’s Goran Perlic (11-5, 11-3, 11-7).
Imposing performances, it was the same from the top two names in Class 5. China’s Cao Ningning beat Korea Republic’s Kim Kyungyoung (11-8, 11-9, 11-7); Norway’s Tommy Urhaug overcame Egypt’s Hassan Tolba.
Play in the group stage of the Men’s Singles wheelchair classes concludes on Thursday 18th October.