by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor
Both remained unbeaten throughout the Junior Girls’ Team event earlier in the week, both have progressed to the semi-final stage of the Junior Girls’ Doubles competition, Selena Selvakumar in partnership with Nigeria’s Esther Oribamese, Mariam Alhodaby in harness with twin sister Marwa Alhodaby.
Significantly, they have both reserved Junior Girls’ Singles penultimate places; more significantly in the round that decides a place in the final, they meet.
Selena Selvakumar booked her place in the last four courtesy of success against the host nation’s Eman Taha (11-7, 11-6, 11-6, 9-11, 11-8) and Hana Mahmoud (11-6, 8-11, 13-11, 11-6, 11-8), the latter the one player who had secured a first group place against the odds.
Notably she finished ahead of Abir Haj Salah, the no.8 seed, the Tunisian experiencing more problems in the main draw when being beaten in the opening round by the host nation’s Sarah Abousetta, the no.4 seed (7-11, 11-4, 11-9, 11-5). Sarah Abousetta duly overcame Nigeria’s Esther Oribamese, the no.5 seed, to reserve her semi-final place where Marwa Aldhodaby awaits.
Impressively, Marwa Alhodaby, the no.2 seed, accounted colleague Mariam Abdelaziz (11-6, 11-4, 11-4, 11-6) and Malamatenia Papadimitrou, the no.6 seed (11-5, 8-11, 11-6, 11-5, 11-5) on her journey to the semi-finals. Mariam Alhodaby, the no.3 seed, beat colleague Farah Abdelaziz (11-5, 11-4, 11-9, 11-5) and Tunisia’s Fadwa Garci, the no.7 seed (11-6, 11-8, 11-7, 11-6) to reserve her last four place.
The top four names through the Junior Girls’ Singles semi-finals; it is the same with regards to the top four pairs in the Junior Girls’ Doubles event.
In the penultimate round, Esther Oribamese and Selena Selvakumar, the top seeds, meet Sarah Abousetta and Abir Haj Salah, the no.3 seeds; Mariam Alhodaby and Marwa Alhodaby, the no.2 seeds, oppose Egypt’s Farida Badawy and Malamatenia Papadimitrou, the no.4 seeds.
Play concludes in Sharm El-Shiekh on Sunday 15th October.