by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor
Six groups in the initial phase of the Men’s event, Japan’s Tomokazu Harimoto, China’s Wang Chuqin and Korea’s Cho Daeseong alongside the host nation’s Manav Vikash Thakkar completed their series of matches with few alarms.
However, for Chinese Taipei’s Lin Yun-Ju and Iran’s Amin Ahmadian on their path to top spot, life was more exacting. Lin Yun-Jun needed six games to beat Singapore’s Pang Yew En Koen (11-4, 7-11, 11-7, 11-4, 9-11, 11-3), as did Amin Ahmadian when facing Jann Mari Nayre of the Philippines (11-9, 11-5, 7-11, 7-11, 11-7, 11-9).
Meanwhile, in the Women’s event, where in the first stage there are four groups, each with four players; Japan’s Miu Hirano, China’s Sun Yingsha and Chinese Taipei’s Su Pei-Ling all enjoyed a trouble free day to remain unbeaten, a situation that also applied to Hong Kong’s Chau Wing Sze, who appears in the same group as Su Pei-Ling.
However, in the group where Thailand’s Jinnipa Sawettabut is the leading name, Korea’s Lee Daeun proved a most worthy opponent. She extended Jinnippa Sawettabut to six games (10-12, 11-9, 11-8, 11-8, 9-11, 13-11) and the host nation’s Archana Girish Kamath the full seven games distance (11-6, 11-13, 11-8, 11-13, 7-11, 11-7, 11-9).
Both Jinnipa Sawettabut and Archana Girish Kamath remained unbeaten and now meet to decide first place in the group.
Testing times, it was the same for Kazakhstan’s Zauresh Akasheva and Malaysia’s Karen Lyne, the former in the same group as Miu Hirano, the latter alongside Sun Yingsha. Zauresh Akasheva needed six games to beat Singapore’s Zhang Wanling (11-5, 11-6, 8-11, 11-3, 4-11, 11-5), as did Karen Lyne when confronting Iran’s Mahshid Ashtari (9-11, 11-7, 11-4, 11-4, 10-12, 11-9).
Both Zauresh Akasheva and Karen Lyne ended the day unbeaten.
Players finishing in the first three places in each group in both the Men’s and Women’s events advance to a further group stage.