by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor
Japan’s Koki Niwa and Maharu Yoshimura, the no.4 seeds, had to withstand a spirited fightback by the Chinese Taipei combination formed by Chen Chien-An and Liao Cheng-Ting, the no.7 seeds.
They won the first two games before losing the next two and then recovering to secure the fifth by the very minimal two point margin (11-5, 11-7, 9-11, 6-11, 11-9).
Narrow margins for Koki Niwa and Maharu Yoshimura, it was less tense for Hong Kong’s Ho Kwan Kit and Wong Chun Ting, the no.3 seeds; they recorded a most impressive straight games win over Korea Republic’s Lee Sangsu and Jang Woojin, the no.5 seeds (11-7, 11-8, 11-7).
“We were well prepared for any difficulties that could happen before going into the match. The first game was crucial, our strategies and tactics were all carried out well and they became nervous. We were trailing in the second game but we were still patient and tried our best to catch up point by point. They played well but I think we were able to win because we had thought of the different scenarios in the match and the solutions, so we were able to adapt fast to any situation in the match.” Wong Chun Ting
Success for visitors to Wuxi, there was also success for the host nation. Fan Zhendong and Lin Gaoyuan, the top seeds, beat Singapore’s Gao Ning and Pang Xue Jie, the no.10 seeds (11-4, 11-7, 7-11, 11-4); Fang Bo and Zhou Yu, the no.2 seed, overcame Japan’s Masataka Morizono and Yuya Oshima, the no.6 seeds (6-11, 11-7, 11-8, 11-7).
At the semi-final stage Fan Zhendong and Lin Gaoyuan meet Koki Niwa and Maharu Yoshimura, Fang Bo and Zhou Yu oppose Ho Kwan Kit and Wong Chun Ting.
The semi-finals of the Men’s Doubles event are scheduled for Saturday 15th April.