by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Manager
Doo Hoi Kem and Lee Ho Ching joined forces to beat Kelly Sibley and Maria Tsaptsinos in the doubles contest (11-3, 9-11, 11-7, 11-7), before Doo Hoi Kem doubled the advantage by overcoming Tin-Tin Ho (11-3, 11-8, 14-12). Matters concluded with Minnie Soo Wai Yam, ever more looking the complete player, proving too safe and secure for Kelly Sibley (11-3, 11-3, 11-3).
A three-nil defeat for England was the outcome, despite an approach to be applauded from all three players and the efforts of Marcus Gustasson, the national coach sitting courtside, to raise his charges to unprecedented levels.
“Happy to play in the home arena; there is a good atmosphere. We played Hong Kong. There are number three in the world ranking. It was the very difficult match for us. The girls did everything that they could. So I can’t be unhappy with that performance, considering the level of opponents.” Marcus Gustasson
Also, perhaps there is a lesson for England; all the Hong Kong players are home grown and have emerged through a well organised coaching structure in the past ten years.
“I really enjoyed the support of the fans and this really boosted our confidence. It is always hard to play against a strong team. I am just grateful that I was able to give my best. I want to continue to play well and hope that I can cause an upset in the tournament. Also this competition affords us the opportunity to compete against the best players in the world. We look forward to the next match against Singapore. I must admit that they are very strong team but we will just try our best and hope that we can cause an upset.” Tin Tin Ho
It was from Hong Kong a most competent and professional performance; for Lee Ho Ching it was her third appearance in the tournament, for Doo Hoi Kem the second, for Minnie Soo Wai Yam she was on debut.
“Being the first match for us, we were a bit nervous particularly playing against the host country, England. In our next match, we will be more active and positive against Singapore because they are a very strong side. We are here in London to win a medal and we will remain focused throughout the tournament.” Doo Hoi Kem
Hong Kong meets Singapore later in the day at 5.00pm; England opposes Singapore at 10.00am on Friday 23rd February.