by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor
Meanwhile, for the host nation, hopes of a coveted top 12 finish remained open; for India, the recently crowned Commonwealth Games champions it was a complete reversal of the fortunes experienced two weeks ago on Australia’s Gold Coast.
China took no prisoners, they posted three-nil wins against India and Belarus, likewise there were two wins for Singapore but they were harder fought. A three-two success against Sweden started the day, a three-nil win in opposition to Russia concluded the day; Russia having in the morning session of play accounted for Belarus by three matches to two.
Star of the day was Matilda Ekholm; against Singapore she beat Yu Mengyu (7-11, 12-10, 11-4, 6-11, 12-10) and (3-11, 7-11, 11-8, 11-7, 11-7). In opposition to India she accounted for Mouma Das (13-11, 11-5, 11-7) and Manika Batra (11-6, 11-9, 11-3).
Convincing wins were the order of the day. Japan was never troubled; they recorded three-nil wins against both Ukraine and Egypt.
Similarly, Austria remained unbeaten; they accounted for the United States three-nil before recording a three-one success against Hungary. The player to set Austria on the victory path against Austria was Sofia Polcanova; she beat Dora Madarasz in a match that must be a contestant for the closest fifth game this century (11-8, 3-11, 8-11, 11-6, 21-19).
Alas for both the United States and Egypt, it was a day without success; in the morning session of action Egypt had suffered a three-nil defeat at the hands of Hungary. In the evening session, the United States experienced a similar margin of defeat when facing Ukraine.
Six fixtures completed only DPR Korea remained unbeaten; in their opening contest they beat the Netherlands three-one; before despite the efforts of Cheng I-Ching, they recorded a three-two win against Chinese Taipei. Cheng I-Ching beat both Cha Hyo Sim (12-10, 6-11, 11-6, 11-7) and Kim Song I (13-11, 11-9, 11-9).
Earlier Chinese Taipei had recorded a three-one win against Poland, whilst by the same margin, Romania had accounted for the Czech Republic. Later, as the day concluded, the Netherlands beat Romania by three matches to one; Poland recorded a three-two success against the luckless Czech Republic.
Hong Kong asserted authority recording a three-one win against Thailand followed by a three-nil success against Brazil.
Similarly, it was two wins for Korea Republic. A three-nil win in opposition to Luxembourg started the day followed by a three-two success against Germany with Jeon Jihee the backbone of the win and Suh Hyowon the heroine. Jeon Jihee beat both Sabine Winter (11-4, 13-11, 11-7) and Petrissa Solja (11-6, 11-7, 12-10) to set the scene for Seo Hyowon the perform heroics. In the vital fifth match of the fixture, she recovered from a two games to nil deficit to beat Sabine Winter (7-11, 4-11,12-10, 11-8, 11-8).
The defeat for Germany came after a three-nil win had been posted against Brazil; in the one remaining fixture of the day, Thailand recorded a three-two against Luxembourg to keep main draw hopes alive.