by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor
First place was secured by Japan, the top seeds, who selected from Yuto Kizukuri, Yukiya Uda, Yuta Tanaka and Masaki Takami; against Italy a three-nil had been posted, in opposition to Germany, the young players from the Land of the Rising Sun had emerged successful by three matches to one.
However, for the remaining teams who reserved last eight places, full distance five match duels were the order of proceedings; the United States being the outfit to cause the upset. The no.9 seeds, they beat Russia, the no.5 seeds; Kanak Jha was the backbone of the victory, Sharon Alguetti, the hero.
Kanak Jha beat both Artur Abusev (11-7, 4-11, 11-8, 11-3) and Vladimir Sidorenko (11-7, 12-10, 12-10) before Sharon Alguetti recovered from a two games to nil deficit to overcome Artur Abusev in the vital fifth match of the fixture (15-17, 7-11, 11-7, 12-10, 13-11).
Chinese Taipei represented by Lin Yun-Ju, Feng Yi-Han and Tai Ming-Wei duly finished in first place. Earlier in the day they had recorded three-one wins against both Russia and the United States.
Similarly for the French combination of Jules Rolland, Irvin Bertrand and Bastien Rembert, the no.7 seeds, a quarter-final place was reserved following a three-two win over India’s Manush Utpalbhai Shah, Manuv Vikash Thakkar and Snehit Suravajjula, the no.12 seeds. Thorn in the side of the French was Manav Vikash Thakkar, he beat both Irvin Bertrand (8-11, 13-11, 12-10, 11-8) and Jules Roland (12-10, 5-11, 12-10, 11-3).
Top place in the group was secured by China, the no.2 seeds, who throughout the day settled for the same trio comprising Xue Feo, Wang Chuqin and Xu Haidong. Against both India and France three-nil wins had been posted.
Battles for second place, in the contest between Romania, the no.6 seeds and Sweden, the no.10 seeds, it was the fight for top place in the group. Supported by Rares Sipos and Dragos Florin Oprea, Cristian Pletea remained unbeaten to guide his team to a three-two success against the combination of Martin Friis, Truls Moregard and Simon Soderlund. In tension packed contests he overcame Martin Friis (11-5, 11-8, 11-9) and Truls Moregard (11-8, 7-11, 11-4, 7-11, 12-10).
Second position finished in the hands of Korea’s Baek Hongyun, An Jaehyun and Kwak Yu Bin; the no.3 seeds, in their opening fixture they had beaten Sweden by three matches to one but had then suffered a surprise three-two defeat when opposing Romania.
At the quarter-final stage Japan plays France, Korea confronts Chinese Taipei; in the opposite half of the draw Romania meets the United States, Germany opposes China.
The quarter and semi-final matches will be played on Tuesday 29th November.