by Simon Daish
Three out of Four for Belarus
With Katsiaryna Baravok scheduled to play on day two, four competitors from Belarus were in action on the opening day: Alina Arlouskaya, Nadezhda Bogdanova, Daria Trigolos and Alina Nikitchanka.
Arlouskaya is in a strong position to advance from her qualifying group, following a 3-0 win against Poland’s Julia Slazak (11-7, 11-4, 12-10) and the right result against Andreea Clapa (Romania) tomorrow will see the Belarusian through to the main event.
Trigolos and Nikitchanka both picked up 3-1 victories in groups 4 and 8 beating the Czech Republic’s Nikita Petrovova and Barbora Kapounova, but there was a defeat for Bogdanova who lost to Germany’s Wan Yuan in straight games.
Five Games Required for Indian Players
India’s Ayhika Mukherjee pulled off another fantastic win at an ITTF World Tour competition- backing up her victory against Andreea Dragoman (Romania) at the 2016 Bulgaria Open last week- with a tantalising fifth game win over Kristyna Stefcova (Czech Republic) in Olomouc.
Stefcova found herself 1-2 ahead in the tie and looked the more likely of the two players to succeed, but Mukherjee fought back, taking the next two ends to seal the points (6-11, 12-10, 8-11, 11-8, 11-6).
The other Indian player participating in the qualifiers is Reeth Tennison, who was also involved in a five game thriller.
But unfortunately for Tennison she wasn’t able to replicate her fellow countrywoman’s result, losing out to home player Karolina Mynarova (Czech Republic) despite having led 0-2 at one point in the tie.
Little Trouble for Chinese Taipei
While other competitors from Asia may have found life difficult on day one, that didn’t appear to be the case for the two Chinese Taipei players in the qualification groups.
Lin Chia-Hsuan proved too strong for Aleksandra Falarz (Poland), and Lin Po-Hsuan enjoyed a comfortable win against Ema Labosova (Slovakia). Both of the Chinese Taipei players won their respective encounters in four ends.
Big Fixtures to Come
Day two is set to feature some decisive matches in the race for qualification.
Park Seri (Korea Republic) and Emina Hadziahmetovic (Bosnia and Herzegovina) will face off in group 5, while the host nation’s Karolina Mynarova will take on Wan Yuan of Germany in what looks to be the deciding match for top spot in the group.
Wednesday 31st August: Under 21 Women’s Singles – Qualification Stage