by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor
Hard earned success but Honoka Hashimoto and Hotomi Sato proved not to be the Japanese combination to attract the attention, as pairings strove for a quarter-final place; that distinction belonged to 18 year old Miyu Kato and 15 years of age Miyu Nagasaki.
Qualifiers, they beat the combination formed by the Slovakia’s Barbora Balazova and the Czech Republic’s Hana Matelova, the no.5 seeds (6-11, 11-7, 11-6, 11-6).
Defeat for one seeded partnership and there was defeat for one more; Chinese Taipei’s Lin Chia-Chih and Liu Yu-Hsin, the no.8 seeds, experienced a reverse at the hands of what could prove a partnership with potential in Linz. They were beaten by the combination comprising the host nation’s Sofia Polcanova and China’s Wang Yidi (3-11, 11-5, 11-6, 7-11, 11-5); the left handed top style of the Austrian complementing the close to the table fast attacking style of her Asian partner.
One home win and there was another, only this time as expected but also one that aso caused Chinese Taipei disappointment. Liu Jia partnered Hu Melek to success against Liu Hsing-Yin and Liu Yu-Hsin (11-9, 6-11, 6-11, 11-4, 11-8); Liu Jia and Hu Melek occupy to no.8 seed position in the competition.
Two upsets but amongst the top rated pairs, there were no such travails.
In addition to Honoka Hashimoto and Hitomi Sato, there were successes for the next pairs in the order of merit. Hong Kong’s Doo Hoi Kem and Lee Ho Ching beat the partnership formed by Stéphanie Loeuilette of France and Slovakia’s Eva Odorova (9-11, 12-10, 11-3, 11-7); China’s Chen Meng and Wang Manyu, the no.3 seeds, accounted for the combination of Turkey’s Sibel Altinkaya and Egypt’s Dina Meshref (11-7, 11-3, 11-2).
Similarly, also from Hong Kong, Ng Wing Nam and Minnie Soo Wai Yam ended the hopes of India’s Manika Batra and Krittwika Roy (10-12, 11-6, 11-5, 11-9).
The quarter-finals are scheduled for 10.00am (local time) on Friday 22nd September.