by Ian Marshall. ITTF Publications Editor
However, for the remaining four teams that headed the groups, it was a very different story; each was extended the full five match distance.
Hong Kong, the no.2 seeds, with Chau Wing Sze, Lee Ka Yee and Wong Chin Yau on duty had to recover from a two matches to nil deficit to beat the trio formed by Slovenia’s Nusa Bolte, who joined forces with the Japanese duo of Satsuki Odo and Yukari Sugasawa.
Yukari Sugasawa beat Wong Chin Yau (8-11, 12-10, 11-6, 5-11, 11-6), before Satsuki Odo accounted for Lee Ka Yee (10-12, 11-6, 3-11, 11-7, 12-10). It was at that stage the recovery began. Chau Wing Sze overcame Nusa Bolte (11-9, 11-3, 11-4), before Wong Chin Yau defeated Satsuki Odo (14-12, 11-4, 10-12, 11-8) and Lee Ka Yee concluded the fightback by overcoming Yukari Sugasawa (15-13, 12-10, 11-8).
Likewise, the combination of England’s Denise Payet, Thailand’s Jinnipa Sawettabut and Amy Wang of the United States experienced a close examination when facing Hungary’s Helga Dari, Fanni Harasztovich and Viola Phan. Amy Wang proved the mainstay of success beating Fanni Harasztovich in the third match of the fixture (12-10, 11-9, 11-7) and Dari Helga in the decisive fifth (12-10, 11-8, 7-11, 11-9).
Testing times for the third seeds; it was the same for Serbia’s Tijana Jokic, Sabina Surjan and Andjela Menger, the no.5 seeds. They needed the full five matches to overcome Slovakia’s Natalia Grigelova, Tatiana Kukulkova and Nikoleta Puchovanova; mainstay of the Serbian victory was Tijana Jokic, she beat Tatiana Kukulkova in the opening match of the fixture (11-6, 11-9, 8-11, 8-11, 11-7) and by the very narrowest of margins, Nikoleta Puchovanova in the fifth and deciding contest (9-11, 8-11, 11-7, 11-4, 15-13) to seal the victory.
A testing route to the main draw; for the Croatian formation of Leona Santek, Andrea Pavlovich and Marta Vukelic it was even more exacting. They survived two close calls.
They recorded a three-two win against Kazakhstan’s Aisu Saparova, Zauresh Akasheva and Angelina Romanovskaya before securing first place in the group by posting victory by a similar margin in opposition to the team formed by Finland’s Annika Lundström who joined forces with Marharyta Baltsushite and Darya Kisel of Belarus.
Play in the Junior Girls’ Team event concludes on Thursday 21st September.