by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor
In the top half of the draw it was success for Japan with Masataka Morizono and Yuya Oshima justifying their top seeded position, whilst colleagues Koki Niwa and Maharu Yoshimura, the no.6 seeds, caused somewhat of a surprise.
Impressively Masataka Morizono and Yuya Oshima beat Chinese Taipei’s Chen Chien-An and Chiang Hung-Chieh, the no.5 seeds (11-4, 11-7, 13-11); Koki Niwa and Maharu Yoshimura accounted for Hong Kong’s Ho Kwan Kit and Wong Chun Ting, the no.4 seeds (11-8, 11-8, 9-11, 11-6).
Meanwhile, in the lower half of the draw, Ma Long and Xu Xin, the no.2 seeds, imposed their authority on proceedings. The 2011 World champions beat Sweden’s Kristian Karlsson and Mattias Karlsson, the no.7 seeds and runners up earlier this year in Doha (10-12, 11-1, 11-5, 11-6).
At the semi-final stage Ma Long and Xu Xin will confront the recently crowned Asian champions, Fan Zhendong and Lin Gaoyuan. In a contest between two pairs who had been required to compete in the qualification tournament. In a hard fought contest, the Chinese duo staved off a spirited recovery by Korea’s Kim Minseok and Lim Jonghoon, to secure a full distance five games win (11-7, 13-11, 6-11, 6-11, 11-6).
The semi-final stage of the Men’s Doubles event is scheduled for the morning g session of play on the penultimate day of action, Saturday 17th June, the final for later in the day in the evening session.