by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor
No stranger to the Olympic Games, the first woman from her country ever to compete in the table tennis events at the multi-sport gathering when she played in 2012 in London, Neda Shahsavari gave Iran the ideal start in their clash with Guyana.
She beat a spirited Natalie Cummings in a hard fought five games encounter (9-11, 11-9, 10-12, 11-3, 13-11), before rather more comfortably Mahshid Ashtari overcame Chelsea Edghill (11-5, 11-4, 11-1). Iran in control, Neda Shahsavari partnered Maryam Samet to doubles success against Chelsea Edghill and Trenace Lowe (11-5, 12-10, 11-5).
At the semi-final stage of the Women’s Team event, Turkey meets Iran, Azerbaijan faces Pakistan.
One quarter-final contest required in the Women’s Team competition to determine the last four names; in the counterpart Men’s Team competition, two was the required number.
Saudi Arabia beat Pakistan, Turkey overcame Guyana.
Abdulaziz Alabbad set Saudi Arabia on the road to victory against Pakistan by overcoming Muhammad Rameez (11-1, 11-8, 11-2), before Ali Alkhadrawi accounted for Muhammad Qureshi (11-6, 11-2, 10-12, 11-5) and a doubles success for Abdulaziz Bu Shulaybi and Ali Alkhadrawi in opposition to Syed Ali and Muhammad Rameez (11-6, 11-9, 11-5) ended matters.
No charity shown by Saudi Arabia, it was the same by Turkey. Ibrahim Gündüz beat Nigel Bryan (11-7, 11-7, 11-2), Ahmet Li overcame Christopher Franklin (11-6, 11-4, 11-5) prior to Ibrahim Gündüz and Gencay Menge combining to win the doubles in opposition to Joel Alleyne and Christopher Franklin (11-5, 11-3, 11-2).
Places in the last four reserved; Saudi Arabia meets Iran, Turkey opposes Azerbaijan.
The semi-finals and bronze medal fixtures in both the Men’s Team and Women’s Team events will be held on Sunday 21st May; the finals on Monday 22nd May prior to the closing ceremony.
4th Islamic Solidarity Games: Latest Results – Men’s Team and Women’s Team Events