The 2012 Final World Olympic Qualification Tournament was ushered by the Group Stage today, Ma 10, 2012 in Doha, Qatar. In the round, a series of casualties were recorded but not for Tiago Apolonia.
The top seed in the competition, Tiago Apolonia of Portugal was indeed in good condition at the opening of the tournament. Apolonia posted two comfortable victories against Yannick Vostes of Belgium and Niagol Stoyanov of Italy. At the end, Apolonia is now in leading position with Vostes and Stoyanov following for the second place in the group.
The second seed Emmanuel Lebesson of France was the biggest casualty in the opening day of competition. As the top seed in their group, Lebesson was defeated by India's Almaraj Anthony and Wu Chih Chi of Chinese Taipei. In effect the victors, posted two victories a piece and is now assured of their slots in the next stage of competition.
After Lebesson, his teammate Simon Gauzy started the competition with a loss against Sas Lasan of Slovenia. However, for his second match, Gauzy survived the challenge from Lubomir Pistej of Slovakia and still has the chance to advance further in the tournament. Meanwhile, it is Sas Lasan who holds the top spot in their group.
The Croatian Andrej Gacina imposed his authority over his group mates. He nailed two awesome 4-0 victories against Andrei Filimon of Romania and Egypt's Ahmed Saleh. Naturally, with his results, Gacina will be in the main draw while Filimon and Saleh will have their face-off tomorrow for the second spot.
Another top seed was thrown out in the first day of competition and he is Group 3's Thomas Keinath of Slovakia. Against Greek Konstantinos Papageorgiou and Matiss Burgis of Latvia, Keinath wasn't able to make his presence felt and lost his two battles for the day. As a result, the victors share the top spot with two victories a piece.
Bora Vang of Turkey appeared strong in his opening match against Alfredo Carneros of Spain. Vang posted a sweep victory. For his second match, the Turkish player won against Pavel Platonov of Belarus in six sets. At the end of the day, Bora Vang holds the top spot followed by Carneros and Patonov for the second place.
India's Sharath Kamal Achanta started the competition with a 4-2 victory against Jan Zibrat of Slovenia. After losing his chance in Hong Kong, Achanta continued his strong performance in Doha today with a sweep victory against Nadrew Baggaley of England. Eventually, Achanta is looking promising in the competition with already two victories while Baggaley and Zibrat will fight against each other tomorrow for the second place.
Petr Korbel of Czech Republic also did a wonderful job today in the competition. He consecutively won over Kasper Sternberg of Denmark and Ahmet Li of Turkey. Despite defeats, Li and Sternberg still have their chances in the competition. However, only one of them will progress into the next stage and it will be decided in the third round of the Group Stage.
Korbel's compatriot, Dmitrij Prokopcov was also stunning in his matches today, He started off with a sweep victory against Stanislav Golovanov and finished his second match against Allan Bentsen of Denmark in five sets. Eventually, Prokopcov is already assured of a slot in the main draw.
After defeats in the English camp, Liam Pitchford defended his country well. In the forst two rounds, Pitchford survived the challenge from Pablo Tabachnik of Argentina and won against the top seed Bartosz Such of Poland. As a result, Pitchford is in leading position while Such will have to win the third round to progress further into the competition.
After Bartosz Such, his teammate Daniel Gorak also tasted defeat in the first day of competition. Although he started off very well with a 4-0 against Geir Erlandsen of Norway, Gorak failed to survive the challenge from Zolt Pete. At the end, Zolt is in the top spot while Daniel Gorak fights for the second place.
Belorussian Vitaly Nekhvedovich made his presence felt in Group 12 after he finished first in the group. Along with the walk over from Mounaim Tirselt of Morocco, Nekhvedovich won his matches against Barney Reed of USA and England's Paul Drinkhall.
In Group 13, Oleksandr Didukh of Ukraine, Lauric Jean of Belgium, and Mihai Bobocica of Italy all finished the first day of competition with two victories a piece. Didukh and Bobocica still have two matches tomorrow while Jean will only have one. This is the same with Group 14 where Kolarek Tomislav of Croatia, Wang Yang of Slovakia, and Yaroslav Zhmudenko also tied with two victories respectively.
In Group 15, notable names are Carlos Machado of Spain and of course the top seed in the group, Lei Kou of Ukraine. These two players both posted two victories. For the last group, Hungary's Janos Jakab and Wang Zengyi of Poland hold the leading spot also with two victories each.
The third round of the Group Stage will take place tomorrow, May 11, 2012.
Photo source: lequipe.fr