by Simon Daish
Five Belgian team-ups set out on the conquest for a place in the main event, but only one pair progressed beyond the first qualifying round.
Yannick Maes and partner Kilomo Vitta were one of the four host combinations to exit in the preliminary Round of 32 after they lost in straight games to Daniel Kriston and Krisztian Nagy of Hungary.
Also making an early departure from the category were Belgium’s Thibaut Darcis and Gaetan Swartenbrouckx who let a 1-2 lead slip out of their hands to lose 3-2 to Hunor Szocs and Alexandru Cazacu (both of Romania).
There were two more Belgian duos who didn’t progress, following the withdrawals of Lauric Jean and Julien Indeherberg, and Valentin Pieraert and Florian Cnudde.
The home fans did see one of their teams advance past the opening stage as Florent Lambiet and Martin Allegro saw off French duo Benjy Capello and Hugo Batocchi in five ends, but a defeat to Hunor Szocs and Alexandru Cazacu in the second preliminary round ended any hopes of seeing another Belgian partnership join Cedric Nuytinck and Robin Devos in the Round of 16.
Sweden will be happy to see two more of their teams make the main draw; Harald Andersson and Fabian Akerstrom powered past Italy’s Leonardo Mutti and Mihai Bobocica, while Viktor Brodd and Anthony Tran beat Vasily Lakeev and Viacheslav Burov of Russia. Jon Persson and Simon Arvidsson were the Swedish duet that didn’t require qualification matches.
Marie Maesen and Nathalie Marchetti were the only Belgians to take part in the Women’s Doubles qualifying round, and were hoping to join fellow countrywomen Lisa Lung and Eline Loyen in the last 16, but that was not to be the case.
French players Audrey Zarif and Lucie Gauthier were the opposition for Marie Maesen and Nathalie Marchetti, and while game two may have gone to the home combination the other three games fell to Zarif and Gauthier.
There is no restriction on competitors from different nationalities teaming up for the Doubles events in De Haan, and the mixed country pairings fared well in the Women’s Doubles category.
Ievgeniia Vasylieva (Ukraine) and Magdalena Sikorska (Poland) made it through following their victory against Italy’s Giorgia Piccolin and Le Thi Hong Loan, and the Danish/Lithuanian team of Stefanie Christensen and Egle Stuckyte recovered from two games down to register a fifth end win over Yana Timina and Tanja Helle of the Netherlands.
Wednesday 21st September: Men’s Doubles – Preliminary Round
Wednesday 21st September: Women’s Doubles – Preliminary Round