by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor
Fielding the duo of Wang Chuqin and Xue Fei; China recorded a three-nil win against the Korean pairing of Lee Seunghwan and Seo Hongchan, before with Xu Yingbin replacing Wang Chuqin in the singles, the same margin of victory was posted in opposition to the combination of Kazakhstan’s Bakdaulet Akimali and Bevan Tan.
Likewise, with Shawn Chua Kee Yang and Josh Shao Han Chua on duty; Singapore overcame Kazakhstan’s Bakdaulet Akimali, who partnered their colleague Bevan Tan, without the loss of a single match. Later they secured the same impressive margin of victory when facing Australia’s Rohan Dhooria and Bob Liang.
Defeat for Australia; earlier in the day it had been the same outcome when opposing Korea.
Difficult times for Australia but it could hardly have been more difficult than for their Oceania colleagues, Fiji’s Grace Rosi Yee and Sally Yee.
In their opening contest they faced China; a daunting task and the task became even more daunting when after the second match of the engagement, with China leading two-nil, Grace Rosi Yee was forced to withdraw from proceedings owing to a leg injury.
Success by three matches to nil was the effective result for the Chinese Team who named Qian Tianyi and Shi Xunyao in the singles events with Liu Weishan joining forces Shi Xunyao for the doubles. Only Sally Yee fit to play, in effect the next fixture against the Belarus outfit formed by Marharyta Baltushite, Nadezhda Bogdanova and Daria Trigolos was a walk-over in favour of the Europeans.
It was not the best of days for the Fijians but they could take a degree of pride in the fact that their opponents had shown respect.
China fielded their best team. If Qian Tianyi, Shi Xunyao and Liu Weishan combine later this year in Italy for the 2017 World Junior Championships; irrespective of any world ranking, they will be short odds to win the Girls’ Team title. Shi Xunyao is the reigning World Junior champion; for the past two years Qian Tianyi has won the Junior Girls’ Singles title in Taicang.
Equally Belarus showed reverence; in the doubles, the third match of the fixture, they listed Daria Trigolos and Nadezhda Bogdanova. Earlier this year they were the Women’s Doubles runners up at the 2017 ITTF Challenge Zagreb Open.
Play in the Junior Boys’ Team and Cadet Girls’ Team events conclude on Thursday 22nd June.
Photos: Courtesy of Chinese Table Tennis Association