Top spot for Kanak Jha thanks to Entente Cordiale
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Top spot for Kanak Jha thanks to Entente Cordiale

Top spot for Kanak Jha thanks to Entente Cordiale

(by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Manager)
Top spot for Kanak Jha thanks to Entente Cordiale
First place in the group the eventual outcome but as play came to a conclusion in the initial stage of the Boys’ Singles event at the Luxembourg 2018 ITTF World Junior Circuit Finals on the morning of Saturday 3rd February, the top seed, Kanak Jha of the United States needed a little help from a friend.

The friend in the hour of need was Frenchman Bastien Rembert; Entente Cordiale prevailed.

Kanak Jha concluded his initial stage itinerary in style by beating Australia’s Rohan Dhooria, the no.16 seed (11-6, 6-11, 11-4, 11-6, 11-3); more pertinently Bastien Rembert, the no.7 seed, accounted for Egypt’s Youssef Abdel-Aziz, the no.10 seed. He won in six games (11-4, 11-1, 12-10, 10-12, 9-11, 11-7).

On the opening day, Youssef Abdel-Aziz had caused a major upset by beating Kanak Jha in seven games (5-11, 13-11, 11-3, 7-11, 6-11, 11-6, 11-7); immediately Kanak Jha had responded to record a straight games success in opposition to Bastien Rembert (11-8, 11-6, 11-7, 12-10). The end result was that games ratio was needed to decide the top three places.

Kanak Jha (7:4) finished in first place with Youssef Abdel-Aziz (6:7) in second spot; third position and thus no place in the quarter-finals was the lot of Bastian Rembert (4:6). He joins Rohan Dhooria in the consolation event.

Meanwhile, in the remaining groups, life was more straightforward; Romania’s Cristian Pletea, the no.2 seed, concluded his first phase adventures by beating Luxembourg’s Ademir Balaban, the no.15 seed but he was severely examined. He needed the full seven games to secure a hard earned victory (8-11, 9-11, 11-5, 11-4, 11-3, 8-11, 11-5).

Second place in the group was clinched by India’s Manush Utpalbhai Shah, the no.9 seed; in his concluding contest he overcame the defensive skills of Russia’s Artur Abusev, the no.8 seed (12-10, 11-3, 11-6, 13-15, 11-3).

Success for India and there was further success for the south Asian country; Manav Vikash Thakkar, the no.3 seed, beat Thailand’s Yanapong Panagitgun, the no.13 seed (8-11, 9-11, 11-3, 11-7, 11-5, 11-7) to secure first place in the group. Second position was reserved by Chinese Taipei’s Feng Yi-Hsin, the no.5 seed; in his concluding initial stage contest, he defeated Austria’s Maciej Kolodzieczyk, the no.12 seed (11-1, 11-4, 11-3, 7-11, 11-7).

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