by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor
Represented by Pavel Lukyanov and Iurii Nozdrunov; Russia proved too strong for the Italian pairing of Mohamed Amine Kalem and Lorenzo Cordua, a two matches to nil outcome was the verdict.
The Russians secured the doubles in straight games (11-8, 11-9, 11-7), before in a similar manner a determined Iurii Nozdrunov overcame Mohamed Amine Kalem (11-2, 11-7, 11-6).
However, the clash between France and Japan was a much closer affair; nervous moments.
Nariaki Kakita and Naoya Nagashita overcame Mateo Boheas and Benoît Grasset to give Japan the early lead (11-9, 11-4, 12-14, 14-12). Immediately Mateo Boheas levelled; he accounted for Naoya Nagashita (11-5, 11-2, 7-11, 11-5), before Benoît Grasset combined defence and attack in true Joo Saehyuk mode to beat Nariaki Kakita (11-4, 11-8, 7-11, 16-14) and complete the French recovery.
“We did not start the match well, especially during the doubles. It was tough in my singles match, as he was playing a lot to my forehand which is my weakness. So I tried to counter attack when the ball came to my forehand side. I had problems in receiving serve; my serve helped me in crucial moments.” Benoît Grasset
At the semi-final stage France meets Poland, the top seeds who select from Patryk Chojnowski, Igor Misztal and Pawel Jablonski; in the opposite half of the draw Russia faces Spain, the second seeds. They choose from José Mabuel Ruiz, Juan Bautista Perz and Jorge Cardona.
The semi-finals and final will be played on Saturday 20th May, the concluding day of proceedings in Bratislava.
2017 World Para Team Championships: Draw and Latest Results