by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Manager
Eventual success for France, the player the nation must thank is Audrey Zarif; she recovered from a two games to nil deficit to beat Alex Galic in the second match of the fixture (8-11, 6-11, 11-5, 11-6, 11-4), before in the deciding fifth match overcoming Aleksandra Vovk (11-4, 11-4, 11-7). Sandwiched in between she partnered Laura Gasnier to doubles success (11-6, 11-4, 11-2).
The two wins for Slovenia both came at the expense of Laura Gasnier; in the opening match of the fixture she was beaten by Aleksandra Vovk (11-5, 12-10, 11-6), in the fourth by Alex Galic (13-11, 10-12, 3-11, 15-13, 11-8).
It was to be the only defeat for Slovenia; they duly finished in second position behind France and thus reserved a quarter-final place. Teams finishing in first and second places in each of the four groups progressed to the main draw.
A brave effort but in vain, for Turkey it was a brave recovery that reaped success against Italy.
Chiara Colantoni gave Italy the ideal start by beating Ozge Yilmaz (10-12, 11-7, 12-10, 11-6), before Jamila Laurenti doubled the lead. She accounted for Sibel Altinkaya (11-9, 6-11, 12-10, 11-9). It was at that stage the Turkish revival began. Sibel Altinkaya joined forces with Ozge Yilmaz to secure the doubles in opposition to Chiara Colantoni and Giorgia Piccolin. They recovered from a two games to nil deficit to (10-12, 4-11, 11-4, 11-7, 11-7) to spark the recovery.
Sibel Altinkaya followed suit by beating Chiara Colantoni (11-6, 11-7, 12-10), prior to Ozge Yilmaz defeating Jamila Laurenti (11-3, 13-11, 12-10) to complete the fightback.
Second place in the group was the lot of the Italians with Turkey in first position.
Meanwhile, in the remaining groups Egypt, the top seeds, represented by Dina Meshref and Yousra Helmy finished in first place ahead of Serbia’s Izabela Lupulesku and Aneta Maksuti; Spain represented by Galia Dvorak, Maria Xiao and Zhang Xuan claimed pole position with the Greek trio of Constantina Paridi, Georgia Zavitsanou and Aikaterini Toliu in runners up spot.
Play concludes on Saturday 29th June.
Tarragona Mediterranean Games: Full Results