Greater Noida, November 4: The stage is all set. But one has to wait until tomorrow morning to know the results as the second stage got underway in the ITTF 2018 YOG Continental Qualifications for Asia at the Gautam Buddha University hall here today.
The last round match tomorrow is the most important matches for the participants as the first and second players in each group will clash in what can be termed as the finals for the lone spot in each group of the Boys and Girls sections.
The four seeds, Harimato Tomokazu (Japan), Yun-Ju Lin (Teipei), Chuqin Wang (China) and Cho Daeseong (Korea) in boys and Miu Harano (Japan), Yingsha Sun (China), Jinnipa Sawettabut (Thailand) and Pei-Ling Su (Teipei) in girls passed the muster and must be preparing mentally for the morrow.
As for the boys’ second stage match, all the favourites to qualify played along the expected line to win 4-0, except Taipei’s Yun-Ju Lin. The left-hander was taken some distance by Hong Kong’s Maurice Kai Ning Chong before winning 4-2.
Taipei's Yun-Jin Lin in action against Hong Kong's Maurice Kai Ning Chong.
Similarly, only the fourth group match between Pei-Ling Su of Taipei and Mahshid Ashtari of Iran in girls’ was stretched just a bit—when Su dropped a game. But for this aberration, every other player sailed through smoothly.
India’s Manav Thakkar, placed second in group 3 following second stage draw, quickly adjusted against Jordan’s Khaled Khader who managed to lead him briefly at 7-4 in the first game. That was all he could do as Manav, who used the flanks well, particularly his backhand down-the-line drives, outwitted the Jordanian for a 4-0 verdict.
But his task tomorrow is cut out as he will be run into Chinese Chuqin Wang, the No. 3 seed, and that match will decide who among the two will first book their ticket to Buenos Aires.
Archana, drawn in group 3 behind fourth seed Pei-Ling Su of Taipei, easily beat her Iranian rival Mahshid Ashtari despite the latter extending Archana in the first game. Archana was quick enough to dispose her 4-0 and now will hope to put it across the Taipei girl.
In fact, among two Indians, Archana stands a better chance of making the qualification cut as both players have 1-1 track record head-to-head in ITTF competitions. Over and above, in a recent camp held at Slovenia, Archana had beaten Su and the Indian will carry that confidence into her decisive match tomorrow.
But those who could not finish among the top four here need not feel dejected as the remaining eight boys and girls will get to play the third league of the event to decide the four runners-up as reserves.
But the reserves, in the order of their positions, get a look-in only when a qualified player pulls out owing to injury or other valid reasons. That’s where the six ‘Road to Buenos Aires Series’ will help players seal early entry to end their anguish as reserve positions can, at best, be a solace.
Boys Singles (Stage II):
Group 1: 1st Round: Harimato Tomokazu (JPN) bt Yew En Koen (SGP) 11-7, 12-14, 11-7, 11-9, 11-3; 2nd Round: Yanapong Panagitgun (THA) bt Yw En Koen (SGP) 12-10, 6-11, 11-6, 11-8, 10-12, 11-9.
Group 2: 1st Round: Yun-Ju Lin (TPE) bt Maurice Kai Ning Chong (HKG) 11-7, 11-3, 11-4, 9-11, 9-11, 11-5; 2nd Round: bt Jaan Mari Nayre (PHI) bt Maurice Kai Ning Chong (HKG) 11-6, 9-11, 11-6, 4-11, 11-6, 13-15, 11-9.
Group 3: 1st Round: Chuqin Wang (CHN) bt Khaled Khader (JOR) 11-2, 11-9, 11-3, 11-3; 2nd Round: Manav Thakkar (IND) bt Khaled Khader (JOR) 11-9, 11-5, 11-6, 11-3.
Group 4: 1st Round: Cho Daeseong (KOR) bt Aidos Kenzhigulov (KAZ) 11-9, 11-8, 11-4, 11-6; 2nd Round: Amin Ahmadian (IRI) bt Aidos Kenzhiguloc (KAZ) 13-11, 11-5, 11-4, 15-17, 11-9.
Girls Singles (Stage II):
Group 1: 1st Round: Miu Hirano (JPN) bt Lee Daeun (KOR) 11-8, 11-3, 11-8, 11-6; 2nd Round: Lee Daeun KOR) bt Karen Lyne (MAS) 11-6, 11-6, 9-11, 11-9, 11-9.
Group 2: 1st Round: Yingsha Sun (CHN) bt Kamila Khalikova (UZB) 11-4, 11-5, 11-4, 11-3; 2nd Round: Kamila Khalikova (UZB) bt Zauresh Akasheva (KAZ) 11-7, 12-10, 8-11, 13-11, 11-9.
Group 3: 1st Round: Jinnipa Sawettabut (YHA) bt Wanling Zhang (SGP) 11-9, 11-3, 11-6, 11-3; 2nd Round: Sze Wing Chau (HKG) bt Wanling Zhang (SGP) 11-9, 11-8, 11-7, 3-11, 4-11, 11-8.
Group 4: 1st Round: Pei-Ling Su (TPE) bt Mahshid Ashtari (IR) 11-7, 11-5, 11-4, 3-11, 11-2; 2nd Round: Archana Kamath (IND) bt Mahshid Ashtari (IRI) 12-10, 11-4, 11-5, 11-5.