by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publication’s Editor
Stefan Todorov was the player to cause the problems; in the opening fixture of the day, the Bulgarian accounted for both Filip Radovic (4-11, 11-5, 11-9, 11-7) and Rashed Sanad (11-7, 9-11, 11-9, 2-11, 13-11).
Success for Stefan Todorov but that was to be the only success for Bulgaria; Konstantin Vatov suffered at the hands of Rashed Sanad (11-1, 11-4, 8-11, 13-11) and in the crucial concluding match of the contest when facing Filip Radovic (11-9, 13-11, 5-11, 11-8). The one further win for the eventual victors was secured by Vitor Amorim; in the third match of the engagement he defeated Hristo Hristev (8-11, 11-6, 11-5, 11-8).
A testing opening contest for the top seeds; on their second adventure life was somewhat less fraught, a three-one win was posted against the Serbian outfit comprising Aleksa Adamovic, Aleksa Gacev and Pero Tepic. The one win for the hosts was recorded by Aleksa Gacev; in the opening match of the contest, he overcame Filip Radovic (15-17, 11-9, 12-10, 10-12, 11-7).
Defeat for Serbia but a place in the main draw was reserved; the Bulgarians were never able to find the form of earlier in the day. Aleksa Adamovic, Aleksa Gacev and Pero Tepic showed no mercy; a three-nil win was recorded, the day that had started with so much hope for Hristo Hristev, Stefan Todorov and Konstantin Vatov ended in disappointment.
It was third place and thus no progress to the main draw; teams finishing in first and stages in each group advanced to the second stage.
Impressively, in the remaining groups the highest rated outfits secured pole position without due alarm.
The Czech Republic trio comprising Patrik Klos, Jiri Martinko and Tomas Koldas finished in first place in their group with second spot being reserved by the Serbia ‘B’ combination of Niksa Martinovic, Floria Fenyvesi and Matija Jovicic.
Likewise, the combination formed by Qatar’s Mohammed Abdulwahhab and Abdudaziz Mohd, who lined up alongside Valentin Henin of Belarus, topped their group; second place was secured by the Bosnia-Herzegovina outfit comprising Luka Mihailovic, Nikola Mihailovic and Bojan Malinovic.
Meanwhile, in the counterpart Cadet Boys’ Team event, where there were also three groups in the opening stage; it was first place for the Qatari combination of Abdulaziz Al-Abdulla and Nawaf Al-Malki, as it was for Romania’s Mihai Nemaciuc and Marius Radoi. Similarly, top spot was secured by the Czech Republic combination of Dalibor Skopal and Tomas Martinko.
Second places went to the Serbia ‘B’ partnership of Stefan Lazic and Vladimir Jovicic, to Croatia’s Jakov Jakelic and Ivan Ban, as well as to the Serbia ‘A’ duo of Dimitrije Levaja and Aleksandar Cokic.
Play in the Junior Boys’ Team and Cadet Boys’ Team events conclude on Saturday 8th October.