Paul Drinkhall’s Olpympic journey in the men’s singles came to an end in his third round encounter against German Dimitrij Ovtcharov as he lost in four games 11-8, 11-5, 11-9, 11-4 in a match which lasted less than half an hour.

After 22-year old Drinkhall’s heroics the previous day in the second round the world number-107 could not provide an even more remarkable surprise this time round against the number-8 seed. Despite a plucky display which saw the Middlesbrough man pull back a 10-4 deficit in the first game to only lose 11-8 and lead 9-8 in the third, the German’s superior class showed as he booked his place in the fourth round later on in the day.

And Ovtcharov went on to proceed to the Quarter-finals later on in the ExCel Arena, defeating Austrian Chen Weixing again with a 4-0 whitewash in thr fourth round. The German will now face Dane Michael Maze in the last 8 after he shocked the third seed Jun Mizutani.

Number-one seed Zhang Jike also proceeded to the quarters after eventually getting through a close round four encounter against Vladmir Samsonov 4-3 in which the favourite for the gold medal had to come from behind. He now faces number-11 seed Jiang Tianyi in the quarters. The Chinese second seed Wang Hao also progressed, winning 4-1 against Gao Ning.

  • In the women’s fourth round the two Chinese favourites also progressed to the last 8. Favourite Ning Ding won 4-0 against Daniela Dodean, whilst the number-two seed Li Xiaoxia prevailed 4-2 against American Ariel Hsing to ensure the prospect of an all-Chinese final showdown remains strong.

 

Simon Mulligan

Image: bbc.co.uk