by Simon Daish
Liu Qi and Wong Chin Yau entered the event as the 16th seeds and have more than exceeded the original target of living up to their seeding position, with the guarantee of leaving the tournament with a medal after sealing their spot in the semi-finals of the Girls’ Doubles category.
The Hong Kong duo faced the difficult task of going head-to-head with the No.5 seeds from Korea Republic Kang Dayeon and Kim Jiho in the last eight, but to the surprise of the spectators in Cape Town Liu Qi and Wong Chin Yao outclassed their opponents in four straight games (11-8, 12-10, 11-5, 11-8).
Another pairing from Hong Kong to progress to the semi-finals came in the bottom half of the draw as Mak Tze Wing and Soo Wai Yam Minnie came through their quarter-finals encounter against Belgium’s Eline Loyen and Lisa Lung.
Seeded third for the category Mak Tze Wing and Soo Wai Yam Minnie went into the tie as slight favourites to reach the penultimate stage of the competition, and while the No.10 seeds Eline Loyen and Lisa Lung took the opening game it was the pairing from Hong Kong that came out on top with the capture of four successive ends to pick up a confidence boosting 4-1 victory (6-11, 11-8, 11-2, 11-8, 11-5) ahead of the semi-finals.
The two Hong Kong duos enter the semi-finals in opposing halves of the draw meaning that the possibility of an all-Hong Kong final is still on the cards, however, tough opposition awaits in the next round for both pairings.
Adina Diaconu and Andreea Dragoman, who were named as No.4 seeds, moved through to the semi-finals with a 4-0 win against Oceane Guisnel and Marie Migot of France (11-9, 11-5, 11-9, 11-7) and the Romanian duo will be Liu Qi and Wong Chin Yau’s opponents in the last four.
Japan’s Hina Hayata and Miyu Kato also eliminated a French partnerships with a 4-0 result going against Leili Mostafavi and Audrey Zarif (11-2, 11-5, 11-9, 11-7), and the team of Mak Tze Wing and Soo Wai Yam Minnie will have to be at their best if they are going to produce an upset victory against the Japanese pair.