by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Manager
However, for Slovenia, represented throughout by Lea Palin, Katarzyna Strazar and Aleksandra Vovk, it was a close call.
In their opening group phase fixture, they experienced a three-two defeat at the hands of Canada’s Isabelle Xiong, Laura Lai and Benita Zhou. Defeat in the opening contest, the Slovenian trio recovered; in their second engagement of the day they recorded a three-one success in opposition to the Italian outfit formed by Arianna Basari, Valentina Roncallo and Martina Niño.
Similarly, defeat spurred the Italians forward, no changes to the selection; they overcame the Canadians by three matches to two. Thus match ratio determined the outcome; it was first place for Slovenia (5:4), followed by Canada (5:5) and Italy (4:5).
Disappointment for Canada but a main draw place was secured; for the remaining four second placed teams, a first round contests were needed.
Russia represented by Ekaterina Zironova, Olga Vishniakova and Natalia Nalanina overcame Spain’s Alba Fernandez, Ana Garcia and Andrea Perez by three matches to two to book their quarter-final place. In a somewhat less dramatic fashion, Portugal’s Raquel Martins, Vitoria Santos and Ines Batista recorded a three-one win in opposition to the outfit formed by Bulgaria Ivet Ilieva and Miroslava Andronova who joined forces with Poland’s Agata Pasek.
Quarter-finalists known in the Junior Girls’ Team event; it is the same in the Cadet Girls’ Team competition. Romania, Russia, Lithuania and the Slovak Republic have all reserved last eight places as have Germany, the United States, China and a joint team representing Croatia and the Czech Republic.
The Junior Girls’ Team and Cadet Girls’ Team events will be played to a conclusion on Saturday 24th March.