by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Manager
The player to cause China problems was Amirreza Abbasi, a young man with a very personalised style of play.
He uses long pimpled rubber on the backhand, returning service from that side of the racket whenever possible and with, what can only be described as executing a dead bat, puts doubts in the mind of his adversary when blocking.
Most certainly he put doubts in the mind of Quan Kaiyuan; a four games win was recorded (12-10, 6-11, 11-6, 11-9). However, when he faced Xu Haidong in the contest that brought the fixture to a conclusion, it was a very different scenario; the fact Hu Xaidong had competed in the two most recent World Junior Championships put him several steps ahead in the experience stakes. Impressively, Xu Haidong prevailed in three straight games (11-3, 11-7, 11-3).
Success for Xu Haidong who emerged the pivotal player for the Chinese Team; in the second match of the fixture, he had beaten Amin Ahmadian (11-2, 11-4, 11-4) prior Quan Kaiyuan teaming with Yuan Licen to secure the doubles (11-5, 6-11, 11-5, 20-18).
A hard fought semi-final success for China; it was the same for Marwan Abdelwahab and Yanapong Panagitgun.
Against Ali Akbar Shoari and Aryan Ghaffari; Marwan Abdelwahab and Yanapong Panagitgun could not have made a more inauspicious start.
Marwan Abdelwahab lost to Ali Akbar Shoari (7-11, 7-11, 7-11), Yanapong Panagitgun was beaten by Aryan Ghaffari (12-10, 2-11, 11-9, 9-11, 12-10). It was at that stage the tide turned. Marwan Abdelwahab and Yanapong Panagitgun won the doubles by the very narrowest of margins (11-5, 6-11, 8-11, 11-8, 14-12), before Yanapong Panagitgun accounted for Ali Akbar Shoari (11-9, 11-7, 11-7) and Marwan Abdelwahab overcame Aryan Ghaffari to complete the recovery (11-5, 11-9, 1-11, 9-11, 11-7).
The final will be played later in the day.