by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor
Mahshid Ashtari beat Enejan Ballyyeva (11-5, 11-8, 11-2), Neda Shahsavari overcame Oguljennet Nyyazgylyjova (11-5, 11-4, 11-4) whilst Maryam Samet defeated Vilena Malseva (11-2, 11-9, 11-5).
“Our team is improving all the time, we have been in Tehran for 15 days preparing, training six to seven hours each day, we arrived three days ago; Maryam is always very calm and she is now much better again a backspin return.” Keyvani Fati
“I kept changing my services; she could not read my services; I felt confident before the match”, Neda Shahsavari after beating Oguljennet Nyyazgylyjova
The Iranian trio took no chances in a competition where you cannot afford to take risks. The top six seeded teams gain direct access to the quarter-finals; there are just two places left for the remaining 20 teams who compete initially in six groups.
Teams finishing in first place in each group progress to the knock-out stage; the two finalists gain main draw places.
Hard work progressing to the last eight and to progress to the semi-final stage, life is even more difficult; drawn at random, one team meets top seeds, China, the other opposes, Japan, the second seeds!
One round later, in the top half of the draw, the same section as China; either Thailand or Hong Kong awaits; in the lower half, it either Korea Republic or DPR Korea.
Success for Iran; in the same group, there was also success in an emphatic manner for Macao. The trio comprising Wang Lu, Chong Weng I and Cheong Cheng I overcame the Kyrgystan outfit formed by Nurkyz Aiazbekova, Elina Modubashova and Altynai Omuralieva by three matches to nil.