by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor
Partnering Egypt’s Omar Assar, for Nigeria’s Quadri Aruna it was a quarter-final Men’s Doubles defeat, less than one hour earlier, Russia’s Irina Ermakova and Olga Kulikova, the winners one year ago, relinquished their Women’s Doubles crown.
Defeat for Quadri Aruna, it was defeat at the hands of Omar Assar’s colleagues; the duo lost to the combination of the energetic Mohamed El-Beiali, who partnered the rather more calm and assured Ahmed Ali Saleh. A full distance five games result was the outcome (8-11, 11-5, 11-6, 8-11, 11-8).
At the semi-final stage Mohamed El-Beiali and Ahmed Ali Saleh meet Frenchmen Antoine Hachard and Gregoire Jean; in the opposite half of the draw, Romania’s Alexandru Cazacu and Rares Sipos oppose India’s Sarthak Gandhi and Sanil Shetty.
Antoine Hachard and Gregoire Jean booked their place in the penultimate round courtesy of success against the combination formed by Bulgaria’s Yavor Andreev and Argentina’s Rodrigo Gilabert (11-9, 11-6, 11-9). In the opposite half of the draw, Alexandru Cazacu and Rares Sipos overcame Italy’s Alessandro Baciocchi and John Oyebode (11-8, 11-8, 11-2); Sarthak Gandhi and Sanil Shetty ended the aspirations of Nigeria’s Abdulrahman Abdullah and Sola Oyetayo (13-11, 11-8, 11-7).
Meanwhile, at the quarter-final stage of the Women’s Doubles event, Hungary’s Bernadett Balint and Szandra Pergel ended the reign of Irina Ermakova and Olga Kulikova.
An African challenge now faces the Hungarians with Egypt very much to the fore. In the round of the last eight, Farah Abdel-Aziz and Amira Yousry beat India’s Krittwika Roy and Reeth Tennison (11-6, 11-9, 11-2); Yousra Helmy and Dina Meshref accounted for the partnership formed by Ukraine’s Ganna Farlandska and Italy’s Giorgia Piccolin (11-8, 10-12, 12-10, 11-7).
Success for Egypt and there was also success for a host nation pairing at the quarter-final stage of the Women’s Doubles event; Cecilia Akpan and Janet Effiom ended the aspirations of colleague Agnes Onoja who partnered India’s Mallika Bhandarkar (11-6, 11-9, 11-2).
At the semi-final stage Bernadett Balint and Szandra Pergel meet Farah Abdel-Aziz and Amira Yousry; Yousra Helmy and Dina Meshref oppose Cecilia Akpan and Janet Effiom.
The semi-finals of both the Men’s Doubles and Women’s Doubles events will be played on Saturday 12th August, the finals on Sunday 13th August.