by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Manager
Turkey represented by Bilal Selim Tok, Tugay Yilmaz and Umut Emre Bassan caused the biggest upset by beating the Argentine trio of Martin Bentancor, Santiago Lorenzo and Alexis Orencel, the no.3 seeds, by three matches to two.
Mainstay of the victory was Tugay Yilmaz. He beat both Santiago Lorenzo (11-3, 11-8, 7-11, 13-11) and Martin Bentancor (11-5, 9-11, 11-5, 13-11) to set the stage for Bilal Selim Tok to be the hero of the hour. He duly obliged, in the vital fifth match of the fixture he overcame Santiago Lorenzo (11-6, 14-12, 7-11, 11-9).
Similarly the Czech Republic with Frantisek Onderka, Tomas Koldas and David Prusa on duty recorded a full distance five match win in opposition to Germany’s Felix Wetzel, Kay Stumper and Benno Oehme. Notably Kay Stumper accounted for both Tomas Koldas (13-11, 8-11, 11-6, 4-11, 11-8) and Frantisek Onderka (13-11, 11-6, 11-4) but that was the sum total of German success.
Hard fought wins against the odds, it was no different for the Brazilian combination of Guilherme Teodoro, Rafael Torino and Eduardo Tomoike.
They upset the pecking order by beating the no.5 seeds, the combination formed by Argentina’s Matias Guadalupe who joined forces with Chile’s Nicolas Burgos and Russia’s Aleksandr Kraskovski. Similar to Kay Stumper, Nicolas Burgos remained unbeaten but his efforts were in vain; he beat both Rafael Torino (10-12, 6-11, 11-7, 11-7, 11-8) and Guilherme Teodoro (11-5, 6-11, 11-3, 11-8).
Problems for three seeded outfits; for the remaining four it was top spot in the group. Portugal, the no.1 seeds, with Tiago Li, Gonçalo Gomes and Vitor Amorin on duty topped their group, as did the second seeded Russian combination of Maksim Grebnev, Lev Katsman, Vladimir Sidorenko and Artem Dvoynikov.
Likewise it was first place for Spain ‘A’, the no.6 seeds, represented by Alberto Lillo, Francisco Miguel Ruiz and Javier Soria; a situation that also applied to the no.7 seeds, the combination formed by Lithuania’s Medardas Stankevicius who partnered Frenchmen Bilal Hamache and Jules Cavaille.
Meanwhile, in the Cadet Boys’ Team event, where there were also seven teams in the first stage, the top seeds all ended the day in first places.
Croatia, France, Italy and Spain ‘A’ alongside Germany ‘A’, Sweden ‘A’ and the Czech Republic all ended the day in top spot.
Play in the Junior Boys’ Team and Cadet Boys’ Team event concludes on Saturday 12th May.