by Ian Marshall, Editor
Both teams assured of a place in the main draw, having remained unbeaten in their opening two engagements, Tomokazu Harimoto and Miu Hirano recorded a three-nil win in opposition to Korea Republic’s Cho Daeseong and Choi Haeeun, the no.30 seeds, a pairing who had excelled all expectations to secure second place.
Miu Hirano set Japan en route to success by beating Choi Haeeun (11-4, 11-6, 11-2), before Tomokazu Harimoto extended the advantage. He overcame Cho Daeseong (11-4, 11-8, 11-8), prior to a doubles success ending matters (11-9, 9-11, 12-10, 11-9).
Likewise, facing the partnership comprising Jann Mari Nayre of the Philippines and Finland’s Annika Lundstrom, the no.29 seeds, Lin Yun-Ju and Su Pei-Ling showed no charity: a three-nil win was posted. Su Pei-Ling beat Annika Lundström (11-4, 11-4, 11-4) before Lin Yun-Ju accounted for Jann Mari Nayre (11-3, 11-7, 11-6) and a doubles win concluded the contest (11-8, 11-7, 6-11, 11-9).
First place for Chinese Taipei, it was second position for the European combination of Ioannis Sgouroplous of Greece and Nadezhda Bogdanova of Belarus. In their concluding group stage fixture, the no.14 seeds, they recorded a three-nil win in opposition to the combination of Tunisia’s Nathael Hamdoun and Hong Kong’s Lee Ka Yee, the no.17 seeds.
However, but there were some nervous moments; Nadezhda Bogdanova needed the full five games to beat Lee Ka Yee in the opening contest, only emerging successful by the very minimal margin (6-11, 11-7, 8-11, 11-7, 12-10). A vital win for the Europeans, they went from strength to strength; Ioannis Sgouroplous overcame Nathael Hamdoun (11-4, 11-3, 11-3), before a doubles success ended the engagement (16-14, 11-8, 11-4).
Teams finishing in first and second places in each of the eight groups advance to the main draw; the group stage concludes later in the day.