Host Nation Disappointment, Pirate of the Caribbean Ends Slovenia Hopes
Courtesy of ITTF
Defeats for Darko Jorgic, Jan Zibrat and Ludvik Persolja earlier in the day meant that the host nation’s hopes in the Men’s Singles event at the 2016 ITTF World Tour Slovenia Open in Otocec rested squarely on the shoulders of their leading player, Bojan Tokic.
He was their one remaining hope.
In the late afternoon of Friday 3rd June, all hopes had disappeared; the charismatic 35 year old was the victim of one of the biggest upsets of the day.
Occupying the no.10 seeded position in the draw; Bojan Tokic suffered defeat at the hands of Puerto Rico’s 19 year old Brian Afanador.
Furthermore, defeat was experienced in an emphatic manner, the young man from Utuado in the centre of the Caribbean island but now resident at the Liebherr Ochsenhausen Academy in southern Germany, recorded a straight games win (11-8, 11-8, 11-7, 11-5).
Rio 2016 Olympic Games
Notably both players will be on duty in the Men’s Singles event at the forthcoming Rio 2016 Olympic Games; for Brian Afanador it will be his third appearance, for Bojan Tokic it will be the third consecutive time.
He was present in both Beijing in 2008 and in London in 2012.
Bright Young Men
One upset caused by a bright young man as matters progressed in the first round of the Men’s Singles event in the lower half of the draw in Otocec; there were three further aspiring talents on duty, who delighted in upsetting the odds.
Japan’s Tonin Ryuzaki and Tomokazu Harimoto alongside Hungary’s Adam Szudi rose to the challenge.
Winner of the Under 21 Men’s Singles title at the GAC Group 2015 ITTF World Tour Philippines Open, Tonin Ryuzaki beat India’s Sathiyan Gnanasekaran, the no.31 seed, in six games (8-11, 11-4, 11-8, 11-6, 7-11, 11-8).
A most creditable performance from Tonin Ryuzaki, it was arguably event more creditable from Tomokazu Harimoto, not yet a teenager, he is 12 years old.
The winner on the 2015 ITTF World Junior Circuit in Chinese Taipei, Tomakazu Harimoto overcame Romania’s Hunor Szocs in four straight games (11-8, 11-5, 6-11, 11-1, 11-6) to reserve his place in the second round of proceedings.
Success for Tomakazu Harimoto, by contrast Adam Szudi is a veritable senior citizen.
Present at the Nanjing 2014 Youth Olympic Games, the 20 year old Hungarian ended the aspirations of Spain’s Alvaro Robles, the no.22 seed (9-11, 11-7, 12-10, 11-7, 7-11, 11-8).
Leading Names Succeed
Four notable casualties but there were no such problems for the four most notable names on first round duty in the lower half of the Men’s Singles event.
Chinese Taipei’s, Chuang Chih-Yuan, the no.2 seed, beat Adam Szudi’s colleague, Daniel Kriston (11-6, 14-12, 11-1, 11-4); whilst Hong Kong’s Ho Kwan Kit, the no.8 seed, overcame Japan’s Ryotaro Ogata (8-11, 11-5, 13-11, 11-9, 11-9).
Likewise there was success for the Korean duo of Lee Sangsu, the no.4 seed and Jeoung Youngsik, the no.5 seed.
Lee Sangsu beat Austria’s Alexander Chan (13-11, 11-4, 11-5, 11-6); Jeoung Youngsik accounted for Germany’s Dennis Klein (11-6, 13-11, 11-4, 11-7).
Watch the Stream during the 2016 ITTF Slovenia Open.