by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor
A three-one victory over France, the no.3 seeds, who also included Stéphanie Loueillette in their line-up, came after a three-nil quarter-final success had been posted against the Italian combination of Jamila Laurenti, Giorgia Piccolin and Chiara Colantoni.
Success against Italy and France in an impressive manner, the final it was no different; a three-nil win was recorded against Turkey, the no.4 seeds. Maria Xiao gave Spain the ideal start by beating Ozge Yilmaz (11-7, 11-4, 12-10), she was followed by Galia Dvorak who overcame Sibel Altinkaya by the narrowest of five game margins to swing the pendulum inexorably in favour of Spain (10-12, 11-4, 11-9, 7-11, 15-13).
Proceedings closed with a doubles success for Galia Dvorak and Maria Xiao in opposition to Gulpembe Ozkaya and Ozge Yilmaz (13-11, 11-7, 11-5).
Impressive from Spain, for Turkey, progress to the final was more fraught. At the quarter-final stage they needed the full five matches to beat the Slovenian partnership of Alex Galic and Ana Tofant, the mainstay of the victory being Sibel Altinkaya.
She accounted for Ana Tofant (4-11, 13-11, 11-5, 11-5) and Alex Galic (11-8, 11-6, 11-9): the two wins set the scene for Ozge Yilmaz to be the heroine of the hour. In the vital fifth match of the fixture she overcame Ana Tofant (12-10, 8-11, 11-7, 8-11, 11-8).
A place in the semi-final, a three-one win was recorded against Turkey’s Aikaterini Toliou and Georgia Zavitsanou, very much an outfit in form; at the quarter-final stage they had caused a major upset by recording a three-two success against Egypt’s Dina Meshref and Farah Hassan.
Architect of the victory was Aikaterini Toliu; she beat both Farah Hassan (11-7, 11-9, 11-9) and Dina Meshref (8-11, 11-9, 11-6, 11-5) to set the scene for Georgia Zavitsanou tp complete the victory.
She duly obliged, she overcame Farah Hassan but only just; she succeeded by the very minimal margin in the deciding fifth game (11-8, 13-11, 2-11, 8-11, 11-9).
Tarragona Mediterranean Games: Full Results