by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Manager
They were beaten by the Chinese combination of Gu Yuting and Mu Zi (11-8, 11-9, 11-7), a pair with no great record of previous international success but with the former being a left hander, the latter a right hander and both most competent against the backspin place, they present a most formidable team.
Defeat for the no.2 seeds, there was also defeat for the no.3 seeds; Hong Kong’s Doo Hoi Kem and Lee Ho Ching lost to Chinese Taipei’s Cheng Hsien-Tu and Liu Hsing-Ying (11-4, 16-14, 9-11, 11-8).
However, that was to be the sum total of success for pairs who had been required to enter the preliminary stage; otherwise it was opening round wins for the seeds and some consolation for Hong Kong. In a hard fought four games duel, Ng Wing Nam and Minnie Soo Wai Yam, the no.5 seeds, accounted for Japanese teenagers Miyuu Kihara and Miyu Nagasaki (9-11, 11-9, 11-8, 11-8).
Similarly, the host nation’s Hina Hayata and Mima Ito, the top seeds, beat Korea Republic’s Choi Hyojoo and Yoo Eunchong (11-7, 11-7, 11-7), whilst the latter’s colleagues, Jeon Jihee and Yang Haeun, the no.4 seeds, somewhat made amends for the defeat. They overcame Romania’s Adina Diaconu and Andreea Dragoman (11-8, 11-4, 11-7).
Disappointment for Romania but just as with Hong Kong, there was success; Elizabeta Samara and Bernadette Szocs, the no.8 seeds, accounted for Thailand’s Nanapat Kola and Thapanee Phomma (11-4, 11-5, 11-8). Success for Romania and there was success for a further European combination; the partnership formed by Slovakia’s Barbora Balazova and the Czech Republic’s Hana Matelova, the no.7 seeds, overcame the combination of England’s Tin-Tin Ho and Norway’s Ma Wenting (2-11, 11-4, 11-4, 11-7).
Meanwhile, in the one remaining contest it was success for China but hard earned success; Liu Shiwen and Wang Manyu, the no.6 seeds, staved off a brave recovery to end the hopes of Singapore’s Lin Ye and Yu Mengyu (11-3, 11-6, 7-11, 9-11, 11-8).
At the quarter-final stage Hina Hayata and Mima Ito meet Liu Shiwen and Wang Manyu; Elizabeta Samara and Bernadette Szocs oppose Jeon Jihee and Yang Haeun. In the opposite half of the draw, Chen Hsien-Tu and Li Hsing-Tu confront Ng Wing Nam and Minnie Soo Wai Yam; Barbora Balazova and Hana Matelova play Gu Yuting and Mu Zi.
The matches will be played later in the day.