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Favourites depart on opening day, top seeds hit double trouble

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Published in Table Tennis
Thursday, 23 June 2022 23:23

Finland’s Timo Natunen, Norway’s Sebastian Vegsund and Denmark’s David Olsson, alongside Japan’s Hayuma Abe and Poland’s Krystyna Lysiak, were the players to attract the attention as proceedings commenced in Ostrava at the three day Czech Para Open on Thursday 23rd June.

In the initial group stage, players finishing in first and second positions advancing to the knock-out phase, all remained unbeaten, more significantly all accounted for top seeded opponents.

Competing in men’s singles class 1, Timo Natunen accounted for Great Britain’s Rob Davies, the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games gold medallist (14-12, 11-8, 11-8), duly reserving a semi-final place.

Alas for Rob Davies it was not the best of days; at the quarter-final stage he was beaten by Korea Republic’s Kim Hakjin (14-12, 11-8, 11-8).

Kim Hakjin now meets a further British opponent in the guise of Tom Matthews; in the corresponding semi-final, Timo Natunen confronts Italy’s Federico Falco.

Similar Scenario

Similarly, in the men’s singles events, in class 4 Sebastian Vegsund beat Slovakia’s Boris Travincek (11-4, 16-14, 9-11, 12-14, 11-8), in class 5 David Olsson accounted for Indonesia’s Tatok Hardiyanto (15-13, 11-5, 11-8), in class 9 Hayuma Abe overcame Ukraine’s Ivan Mai (13-15, 15-13, 15-13, 11-6).

Sebastian Vegsund, David Olsson and Hayuma Abe duly ended the day unbeaten; title hopes alive; alas, in the main draw Boris Travincek, Tatok Hariyanto and Ivan Mai experienced the same fate as Rob Davies.

Boris Travincek lost to Indonesia’s Adyos Astan (11-2, 11-8, 6-11, 9-11, 11-9), Tatok Hardiyanto was beaten by Japan’s Kentaro Doi (15-13, 12-10, 9-11, 11-9), for Ivan Mai, Koyo Iwabuchi, also from Japan, ended progress (12-10, 11-5, 16-14).

Koyo Iwabuchi now faces a quarter-final encounter against Great Britain’s Josh Stacey, at the same stage Hayuma Abe opposes Hungary’s Dezso Bereczki. One round later Sebastian Vegsund confronts Slovakia’s Peter Mihalik, Adyos Astan plays the host nation’s Filip Nachazel.

Also, at the semi-final stage, David Olsson meets colleague Isak Nyholm, Kentaro Doi is in opposition to Sam Roelofs of the Netherlands.

Meanwhile, in the women’s singles, the scenario was no different; in class 11 Poland ended the hopes of Ukraine’s Natalya Kosmina. In the group stage she lost to Krystyna Lysiak (11-9, 12-10, 5-1, 11-9), in the quarter-finals to Dorota Nowacka (7-11, 11-5, 11-6, 11-8).

At the semi-final stage, Krystyna Lysiak meets Anne Divet of France, Turkey’s Ebru Acer awaits Dorota Nowacka.

Top Seeds Progress

The end of adventures for five seeds; for the rest, a day without defeat.

In the men’s singles wheelchair categories, Frenchman Fabien Lamirault (class 2), Sweden’s Carl Ohgren (class 3) remained unbeaten as in the standing events did Denmark’s Peter Rosenmeier (class 6), Great Britain’s Will Bayley (class 7), Ukraine’s Viktor Didukh (class 8) and Poland’s Patryk Chojnowski (class 10).

Not to be overshadowed, it was a successful day for Frenchman Antoine Zhao (class 11).

Likewise, in the women’s singles, Finland’s Aina Tapola (class 1), Slovakia’s Alena Kanova (class 2-3) and Ukraine’s Maryna Lytovchenko (class 6) all reserved penultimate round places, a situation that applied to Japan’s Yuri Tomono (class 8) and Poland’s Natalia Partyka (class 10).

Rather differently, in group administered events, there were unblemished records for Great Britain’s Sue Bailey (class 4), Korea Republic’s Jung Younga (class 5), Sweden’s Agnes Sand (class 7) and Poland’s Karolina Pek (class 9).

Play in the men’s singles and women’s singles events concludes on Friday 24th June.

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