by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor
Laying to rest the demons of having lost to Azerbaijan’s Wang Miao in the Women’s Singles bronze medal contest (13-11, 11-3, 8-11, 11-7, 19-11); in the second match of the engagement against Turkey, she overcame Simay Kulakceken (11-9, 11-3, 11-4, 10-12, 11-8), prior to joining forces with Maryam Samet to secure the doubles in opposition to Simay Kulkceken and Ozge Yilmaz (11-7, 11-3, 11-9).
The guiding Iranian hand, Neda Shahsavari paved the way for Mahshid Ashtari to be the heroine.
After Hu Melek, crowned Women’s Singles champion earlier in the week, had beaten Mahshid Ashtari in the opening match of the fixture (9-11, 11-3, 11-3, 11-8) and in the fourth encounter had defeated Maryam Samet (11-2, 11-6, 11-6), Mahshid Ashtari overcame Ozge Yilmaz to seal the victory. She won in four games (7-11, 11-6, 11-8, 11-7) and thus secured Iran a medal. Furthermore, the win guarantees either gold or silver.
In the final Iran meets the host nation; the trio comprising Chen Xingtai, Wang Miao and Ning Zhing recorded a three-nil penultimate round success against the Pakistan outfit formed by Rahila Kashif, Shabnam Bilal and Aisha Iqbal Ansari.
A penultimate round defeat for Pakistan, with no changes to either team, it was also defeat in the bronze medal contest; they experienced a three-nil defeat at Turkish hands.
Success by three matches to nil, it was the outcome in both Men’s Team semi-finals, as Iran and Turkey imposed their authority on proceedings.
Iran fielding the trio comprising Noshad Alamiyan, Nima Alamian and Ashin Noroozi overcame the Saudi Arabian formation of Ali Alhadrawi, Abdulaziz Alabbad and Abdulaziz Bu Shulaybi. Likewise, Turkey’s Ibrahim Gündüz, Li Ahmet and Gencay Menge proved too strong for the Azerbaijan combination of Yang Xinyu, Yu Xinhang and Wang Chenxi.
Defeat for the host nation but there was consolation; thanks very much to the efforts of Yang Xinyu, the bronze medal was secured.
He accounted for Ali Alkhadrawi (9-11, 11-7, 11-6, 11-8) and Abdulaziz Bu Shulaybi (11-4, 11-9, 11-9) in a three matches to one success. The one further win for Azerbaijan was gained in the second match of the engagement when Yu Xinhang overcame Abdulaziz Alabbad (3-11, 11-9, 11-7, 11-2); for Saudi Arabia, the sole success came in the doubles. Abdulaziz Bu Shulaybi and Ali Alkhadrawi accounted for Wang Chenxi and Yu Yinhang (3-11, 12-10, 11-6, 6-11, 11-8).
The finals of both the Men’s Team and Women’s Team event will be held on Monday 22nd May, the closing day in proceedings at the 4th Islamic Solidarity Games.
4th Islamic Solidarity Games: Results – Men’s Singles Event (Friday 19th May)
4th Islamic Solidarity Games: Results – Women’s Singles Event (Friday 19th May)
4th Islamic Solidarity Games: Results – Men’s Team & Women’s Team Events (Sunday 21st May)