by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Manager
The combination of Japan’s Aoto Asazu and Takeru Kashima who lined up alongside Germany’s Cédric Meissner, the top seeds, experienced few problems. Just one individual match was surrendered; that being against Norway when in the third match of the fixture Cédric Meissner lost to Adam Stalzer (11-6, 9-11, 11-4, 11-3).
Impressive, it was even more impressive from Poland’s Przemyslaw, Samuel Kulczycki and Jan Zandecki, the no.5 seeds; they topped their group, recording three-nil wins in every contest.
No great moments of drama, life was somewhat different for Argentina, the no.2 seeds, represented by Martin Bentancor, Santiago Lorenzo and Alexis Orencel, as it was for the next in the order of merit, the Slovakian combination of Stefan Peko, Jakub Zelinka and Daniel Orac. Both were extended the full match distance as was Brazil, the no.4 seeds, who fielded the trio comprising Eduardo Tomoike, Guilherme Teodoro and Rafael Torino.
Austria, with Maciej Kolodziejczyk, Lukas Kramer and Fabian Fritz on duty proved a most exacting adversary for Argentina; the player to cause the South American problems being Maciej Kolodziejczyk. He accounted for both Santiago Lorenzo (11-5, 11-13, 14-12, 11-6) and Martin Bentancor (11-9, 12-10, 11-13, 11-5).
Likewise, Slovakia hit problems against the Serbian trio comprising Nikola Grujic, Bence Bognar and Florian Fenyvesi; the man of the moment for the host nation being Jakub Zelinka. In the second match of the fixture, he beat Bence Bognar (11-8, 7-11, 11-6, 11-6), before in the fourth contest accounting for Nikola Grujic (8-11, 11-5, 11-6, 11-7) to set the stage for Stefan Peko to seal the victory. He duly obliged, the 17 year old overcame Bence Bognar (11-9, 13-15, 11-5, 11-7) to cement the win.
An invaluable performance from Jakub Zelinka; it was the same from Eduardo Tomoike in their three-two win against Chinese Taipei’s Peng Chih, Chen Jun-Ting and Chang Chi-Pen. He accounted for both Peng Chih (13-11, 16-14, 11-6) and Chen Jing-Ting (9-11, 11-8, 11-8, 8-11, 11-8). The one further win for the Brazilians being secured by Guilherme Teodoro; in the second match of the engagement, he beat Chen Jun-Ting (7-11, 11-7, 8-11, 13-11, 11-4) in what, with the benefit of hindsight, was to prove the crucial match of the fixture.
Success and direct entries to the quarter-finals; teams finishing in first and second positions advanced to the main draw.
In the two first round contests that were needed, the combination formed by Bulgaria’s Martin Petrov in partnership with Iran’s Aya Amiri and Hamid Shams beat the Czech Republic outfit formed by Tomas Martinko, Radim Bako and Frantisek Onderka by three matches to nil. Similarly, Chinese Taipei, fielding the same trio as had confronted Brazil, recorded a three-nil win in opposition to Norway’s Finn Vetvik, Borgar Haug and Thomas Late.
Play in the Boys’ Team event concludes on Friday 18th May.