16 Mar 2017

The afternoon session on the first day of the qualifying tournament for the 2017 ITTF Challenge Belgosstrakh Belarus Open in Minsk on Wednesday 15th March saw Turkey's Simay Kulakceken pick up her second successive victory in the qualifying group stage after she caused a major upset against Pauline Chasselin of France.

by Simon Daish

Simay Kulakceken began the day with a positive result against Belarusian player Katsiaryna Baravok in the opening Group 7 encounter to establish an early advantage.

However, Simay Kulakceken faced a difficult task in her second group match as the world no.293 went up against the world no.147 Pauline Chasselin.

Kulakceken and Chasselin were evenly matched throughout the opening four games of the tie but it was the Turkish competitor who prevailed, capturing the following two games to complete a 4-2 triumph (11-9, 6-11, 11-6, 8-11, 11-8, 11-9).

The other two Turkish representatives in action were Sibel Remzi and Gul Pembe Ozkaya. Victorious in her opening match, Sibel Remzi made it back-to-back successes in Group 16 when she saw off Ukraine’s Yaroslava Prykhodko (11-4, 11-3, 11-1, 11-9). There was disappointment for Gul Pembe Ozkaya, however, after she suffered her second defeat of the day in Group 12 with a five games loss to Mariia Tailakova (11-6, 11-8, 11-9, 8-11, 12-10).

Russia has a positive number of players sitting in a strong position to negotiate the qualifying rounds, as the second round of group stage matches saw many of the country’s athletes establish encouraging results.

Olga Vorobeva has moved into joint first position in Group 5 after she beat the Czech Republic’s Aneta Kucerova across five ends (11-3, 11-4, 11-6, 10-12, 11-5), while Anastasia Kolish and Ekaterina Guseva both finished the day on four points apiece following victories over Nataliya Aleksyeyenko (11-5, 6-11, 13-11, 3-11, 11-6, 11-7) and Monapsorn Saritapirak (11-3, 11-7, 11-9, 8-11, 11-4) in Group 10 and Group 13 respectively.

Two Polish players are competing in the qualifying group stage for the Women’s Singles tournament, and both Klaudia Kusinska and Natalia Bajor impressed in the afternoon session in Minsk.

Klaudia Kusinska didn’t endure many problems in her encounter against Belarus’ Hanna Patseyeva (11-4, 6-11, 11-2, 11-7, 11-9), and Natalia Bajor also experienced a win over one of the host nation’s competitors as the Polish contestant negotiated an end-to-end battle with Marharyta Baltushite (11-5, 9-11, 11-8, 6-11, 11-8, 12-10).

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Qual Day 1 - 2017 ITTF Challenge Belgosstrakh Belarus Open

Challenge Series Olga Vorobeva Simay Kulakceken

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