Nigerian star Kazeem Adeleke won his first World Championships of Ping Pong qualification event at the weekend (16th August) as series leader Egle Adomelyte missed out on a fourth win in a row after suffering only her second and third defeats of the campaign at Fusion TTC.
Adeleke, who was competing in his second event of the season, began strongly to win all nine matches in his group, including inflicting an early defeat on Lithuanian Adomelyte 15-14, 10-15, 15-9, which earned him the top spot in group A, while the series leader settled for second.
The British League player, who made the last 16 at the 2014 finals, then continued his progress in the knockout stages to beat Trevor Kerry 14-15, 15-8, 15-7, Eli Baraty 14-15, 15-10, 15-13 and Filip Szymanski 15-10, 15-11 to book his place in the final.
He might have expected to meet the three-time qualification champion Adomelyte in the final but a quarter-final shock by Ashley Stokes meant that the Lithuanian dropped out early for the first time with a 15-14, 7-15, 15-4 defeat.
Unfortunately for Stokes that was as far as he got as his 15-11, 15-8 semi-final loss to Joe Kennedy denied him of a chance to play in the final.
Although Kennedy had previously won in the Oldham qualification final he was no match for Adeleke who stormed home in three ends 15-8, 15-11, 15-4 to pick up precious points in the race to make the finals at Alexandra Palace. Kennedy, meanwhile, boosts his chances of a finals berth by cementing his position in second place of the standings behind Adomelyte thanks to his runners-up finish at Fusion.
by Russell Moore (August 18, 2014)