by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor
Represented by Daniele Pinto, Matteo Mutti and Luca Bressan, the Italian trio proved too experienced for the South African outfit formed by Byrone Abrahams, Zakeer Moosa and Cade Peters; a three-nil result was the order of proceedings.
The win was as anticipated with Italy being the no.11 seeds and far more experienced on the international stage; for the spirited South Africans it was to some extent a baptism of fire.
Success for the favourites and that was the scenario as matters commenced on the first morning of play; in each of four groups, three-nil victory margins were posted in all contests.
Impressively, the Czech Republic, the no.9 seeds, made their intentions clear.
The outfit comprising Tomas Polansky, Patrik Klos and Jiri Martinko overcame the Australian trio formed by Jake Duffy, Dominic Huang and Ben Gould in a most authoritative manner. Likewise, the Belgium formation of Florian Cnudde, Laurens Devos and Thibaut Darcis proved too wise for Nigeria’s Rilwan Akanbi, Tobi Falana and Azeez Solanke. They succeeded in a similarly impressive manner.
Comprehensive victory margins for three European outfits; in the opening fixtures in the Boys’ Team competition it was the same for the United States. Kanak Jha, Jack Wang and Adar Alguetti combined to record a three-nil win against the New Zealand formation of Dean Shu, Alfred de la Pena and Victor Ma.
The Czech Republic, Belgium, Italy and the United States are the top four seeded outfits competing in the initial stage of the Boys’ Team event; the top eight named teams are not required to compete in stage one.
Teams finishing in first places in each of the four first stage groups advance to join the top eight seeds in stage two where likewise there are four groups with three teams in each group.