by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Manager
In the Men’s Doubles event Jian Tianyi and Su Zhi experienced defeat at the hands of the United States combination formed by Feng Yujin and Kanak Jha (11-9, 11-4, 3-11, 12-10), conversely Li Ching Wan and Liu Qi overcame Poland’s Li Qian and Kinga Stefanska in a full distance five games duel, the Hong Kong pair recovering from a two games to nil deficit to secure victory (6-11, 10-12, 11-4, 11-6, 11-8).
A performance of note from Li Ching Wan and Liu Qi; in the Women’s Doubles competition it was the same from Russia’s Ekaterina Guseva and Yulia Prohorova; they recorded a most creditable win in opposition to the combination of Romania’s Irina Ciobanu and Belgium’s Lisa Lung (11-9, 11-4, 9-11, 11-3).
Success in four games, arguably contrary to expectations, for the combination of Russia’s Maria Malanina and Alina Arlouskaya of Belarus, it was success as anticipated but not without moments of trepidation. The duo needed the full five games to end the hopes of Indonesia’s Kharisma Nur Hawwa and Rina Sintya (11-9, 11-5, 12-14, 8-11 11-5).
Victory by a narrow margin it was the same in the Men’s Doubles event for the French pairing of Benjamin Brossier and Antoine Hachard. They fought back from a two games to nil deficit to beat the Netherlands combination of Ewout Ooswouder and Laurens Tromer (8-11, 8-11, 11-4, 11-7, 11-8).
However, in the close call stakes, top prize must go to China’s Zhou Kai and Zhu Linfeng; just one of the five games was not decided by the minimal margin. They beat Germany’s Benedikt Duda and Qiu Dang in tension packed full distance engagement (9-11, 11-5, 11-9, 9-11, 12-10).
The principal pairs in the qualification tournament in both the Men’s Doubles and Women’s Doubles events have yet to take to the stage; the qualification tournament concludes on Thursday 23rd May.