by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor
Pride of place belonged to her Polish national team colleagues, twin sisters Katarzyna and Anna Wegrzyn.
They entered the second day of play unbeaten but faced formidable tasks. Both confronted the highest rated player in their respective groups, both faced redoubtable opposition from Belarus, both responded. Katarzyna Wegrzyn beat Alina Arlouskaya, the highest rated player on initial phase duty (11-7, 11-7, 13-11, 3-11, 6-11, 15-13), Anna Wegrzyn overcame Daria Trigolos (11-4, 7-11, 12-10, 11-9, 11-1).
Fine performances to upset the odds and secure first places, it was the same from Sweden’s Filippa Bergand and Japan’s Satsuki Odo, as it was from India’s Pooja Sahasrabudhe and Alina Nikitchanka of Belarus.
Similar to the Polish sisters, they all entered the second day of action unbeaten, all faced the highest rated in their respective groups, likewise hitherto unbeaten, in their concluding matches; all emerged successful.
Filippa Bergand overcame Croatia’s Mateja Jeger by the very narrowest of margins in a titanic duel (11-9, 9-11, 9-11, 6-11, 11-6, 11-8, 13-11); rather more comfortably Satsuki Odo accounted for Ukraine’s Ganna Fardalanska (11-9, 11-8, 11-8, 11-9), whilst Pooja Sahasrabudhe overcame Switzerland’s Rahel Aschwanden (11-8, 11-9, 8-11, 11-9, 11-7). Meanwhile, to somewhat balance the books for Belarus, Alina Nikitchanka employed her defensive skills to good effect to overcome Italy’s Debora Vivarelli (8-11, 11-9, 14-12, 11-9, 7-11, 11-6).
Surprises but other than for Alina Arlouskaya, the leading players all secured first places in their respective groups and a passport to the main draw.
Additional to Natalia Bajor, Hungary’s Krisztina Ambrus and Mercedes Nagyvaradi topped their groups, as did the French duo of Audrey Zarif and Pauline Chasselin alongside Germany’s Wan Yuan and Chinese Taipei’s Lin Chia-Hsuan.