by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Manager
In the contest against Belarus, after Chen Chien-An had lost to Vladimir Samsonov (11-1, 11-3, 9-11, 11-8) and Chuang Chih-Yuan had suffered against Pavel Platonov (5-11, 11-7, 11-7, 6-11, 11-9), Liao Cheng-Ting recovered from an opening game deficit to beat Aliaksandr Khanin (9-11, 11-6, 15-13, 11-6).
“I felt a little nervous before the match but I made sure I was focused and just tried to play point by pint not think of the score, winning the close third game made a big difference. He had some problems returning my service and I was able time and again to play a strong first attack.”Liao Cheng-Ting
The significance of the win was that one match was sufficient for third place for Chinese Taipei if England beat Belgium; England duly obliged but Belgium almost sprung a surprise. After Liam Pitchford had beaten Florent Lambiet (11-5, 11-9, 11-8), Paul Drinkhall suffered at the hands of Cédric Nuytinck (12-10, 7-11, 11-4. 12-10). Furthermore, when Robin Devos won the first game against Sam Walker one wondered if Belgian might steal third position and resign both Belarus and Chinese Taipei to the lower order.
It was not to happen; Sam Walker recovered, he beat Robin Devos in four games (9-11, 11-8, 11-3, 11-9), before Liam Pitchford accounted for Cédric Nuytinck to end matters (16-14, 11-8, 11-6).
Success for Liao Chen-Ting totally deflated Belarus; Vladimir Samsonov experienced defeat at the hands of Chuang Chih-Yuan (11-8, 11-6, 10-12, 11-8), before Pavel Platonov was beaten by Chen Chien-An (8-11, 11-7, 12-10, 11-6).
First place for England, third spot for Chinese Taipei with Japan sandwiched in between. Fielding the trio comprising Tomokazu Harimoto, Jun Mizutani and Yuya Oshima, a three-nil win was recorded against Singapore’s Gao Ning, Ethan Poh Shao Feng and Ben Kun Ting.
Final Standings: 1. England 10pts 2. Japan 9pts 3. Chinese Taipei 8pts 4. Belarus 7pts 5. Belgium 5pts 6. Singapore 5pts (One point is award for being present, one point for a win)