The main competition of the 2012 Asian Olympic Qualifier started today, April 20, in the Queen Elizabeth Stadium in Hong Kong. This is the stage where the top players meet the qualifiers from the group stage and will play in a Knock Out system.
In the men division, all leading names achieved smooth passage through the hurdles. At the top of the list is Ma Long who won against Nikom Wongsiri of Thailand and Jang Song Man of North Korea. He is now one round away to earning his seat in the London Olympics.
Meanwhile, the Japanese rookie Koki Niwa also had a wonderful performance today. He overcame Lee Chia Sheng of Chinese Taipei and Vietnamese Quynh Tran Tuan. Just like Ma Long, Koki Niwa is one match away to London. However, such match is not an easy battle as he will face no less than the world's number one, Ma Long. Their battle will take place tomorrow where the winner will have his ticket to the Olympics.
In the other side of the draw, the leaders were Leung Chu Yan of Hong Kong and Ryu Seung Min of South Korea. As host, Leung Chu Yan had the support from the crowd in surviving a challenging match against Kim Song Nam of South Korea. After which, Leung swept Soumyajit Ghosh. He is scheduled to face Ryu Seung Min in the next round.
The 2004 Olympic champion Ryu Seung Min consecutively won against Nima Alamian of Iran and Kim Hyok Bong of North Korea. If he will overcome Leung Chu Yan, then he will have another opportunity to be in the Olympics.
The Japanese Team encountered an upset in today's matches in the women division. After winning over Trang Main Hoang My of Vietnam, their delegate Sayaka Hirano lost against Nanthana Komwong of Thailand. Eventually, Hirano will have to take a detour while Komwong is now one match away to her place in London.
While the Japanese Team encountered some problems, the North Koreans Ri Mi Gyong and Ri Myong Sun both had a smooth journey for the day as they won two consecutive battles. It will be Ri Myong Sun who will face Nanthan Komwong in the next match while, Ri Mi Gyong will battle against the Chinese delegate Guo Yue.
Guo Yue was in good control in her opening matches in the competition. She started off with a 4-1 score against Lin Chia Hui of Chinese Taipei and then a sweep victory against Ng Sock Nim of Malaysia.
The South Korean Seok Ha Jung, unlike her male counterpart Ryu Seung Min, didn't have a nice opening match as she lost against the Vietnamese Linh Nguyen Thi Viet.
Photo source: m.spokesman.com