24 Oct 2018

Prominent in Latin America, the Chilean partnership comprising Judith Morales and Paulina Vega emerged the pair to attract the attention in the concluding preliminary round of the Women’s Doubles event at the 2018 ITTF Challenge Belgium Open in De Haan on the evening of Wednesday 24th October.

In a contest that flowed one way and then the other, they accounted for the Czech Republic pairing of Kristyna Stefcova and Katerina Tomanovska in a full distance five games duel (11-9, 9-11, 15-13, 12-14, 11-6) to book their place in the main draw.

by Ian Marshall, Editor

At the start of play, the South Americans were not necessarily favourites to reserve places in the competition proper; the same applied to Austria’s Karoline Mischek and Amelie Solja, as it did to some extent to the Chinese partnership of Gu Tingting and Ma Ruija, neither player being the owner of a current world ranking.

Nevertheless, both pairs prevailed; in the concluding preliminary round, Karoline Mischek and Amelie Solja beat Hong Kong’s Lam Yee Lok and Mak Tze Wing by the very narrowest of decisions (11-7, 4-11, 11-7, 5-11, 11-9); in an almost equally closely contest affair, Gu Tingting and Ma Ruija ousted Poland’s Natalia Bajor and Magdalena Sikorska (4-11, 11-8, 8-11, 11-7, 11-3).

Three surprise parings through to the main draw, for the remaining combinations it was very much as status advised.

The French partnership of Laura Gasnier and Audrey Zarif beat Chinese Taipei’s Kuo Chia-Yun and Lin Po-Hsuan (11-8, 11-9, 11-7) to secure their main draw place, as at the same stage did colleagues Pauline Chasselin and Marie Migot but in a much different manner. In five games, the last a tension packed affair, they ended the hopes of the Korea Republic’s Park Seri and Shin Yubin (11-8, 7-11, 11-4, 4-11, 15-13).

Meanwhile, in the final preliminary round but not quite such a dramatic fashion, Croatia’s Mateja Jeger and Sun Jiayi overcame Turkey’s Sibel Altinkaya and Ozge Yilmaz (11-5, 11-5, 7-11, 13-11).

In a similar manner, the combination of the Czech Republic’s Dana Cechova and Britt Eerland of the Netherlands accounted for the Belarus pairing of Marharyta Baltushite and Nadezhda Bogdanova (11-7, 11-5, 11-7), whilst in a four games duel, Hong Kong’s Li Ching Wan and Zhu Chengzhu ended the hopes of Germany’s Chantal Mantz and Wan Yuan (11-2, 6-11, 11-8, 11-5).

Play in the main draw now beckons, the first round, quarter-finals and semi-finals of the Women’s Doubles event will be played on Friday 26th October.

Challenge Series 2018 Belgium Open Paulina Vega Judith Morales

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Day 3 - 2018 ITTF Challenge Belgium Open

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