14 Nov 2018

Success, wins against the odds, there was a most positive conclusion for the host nation on the opening day of play, Tuesday 13th November, at the 2018 ITTF Challenge Belgosstrakh Belarus Open in Minsk.

Marharyta Baltushite and Tatsiana Chakavaya both excelled to secure first places in the respective groups in the Under 21 Women’s Singles event; thus they booked main draw places and joined colleague Daryia Kisel in the second stage. She had achieved the same feat earlier in the evening.

by Ian Marshall, Editor,

Both Tatsiana Chakavaya and Marharyta Baltushite ended the day unbeaten; moreover they upset the odds by accounting for the highest rated player in their respective groups.

Marharyta Baltushite overcame Poland’s Katarzyna Wegrzyn in a hard fought five games contest (9-11, 12-10, 9-11, 11-9, 11-8); rather more comfortably, Tatsiana Chakavaya beat England’s Maria Tsaptsinos in three straight games (11-5, 12-10, 11-1).

“I wanted to demonstrate my best play. Maria Tsaptsinos gave me a hard time though; it was a real challenge to play against her. I was under pressure, my progress to the main draw was at stake. I switched tactics and rhythm occasionally and tried to put her under constant pressure. In the end, everything has come out fine.”Tatsiana Chakavaya

Surprise first places for Marharyta Baltushite and Tatsiana Chakavaya; they were not alone.

Contrary to status, China’s Guo Ruichen and He Alge remained unbeaten to top their respective groups, as did Japan’s Miku Izumo and Haruna Ojio. Likewise there were surprise top spots for Korea Republic’s Kang Gayun and for Russia’s Elizabet Abraamian.

Meanwhile, amongst the leading names on initial phase duty there were first places for Hungary’s Leonie Hartbricht, Italy’s Jamila Laurenti, Korea Republic’s Kim Hayeong and the Czech Republic’s Marketa Sevcikova.

The first and second rounds of the Under 21 Women’s Singles event will be played on Wednesday 14th November.

Challenge Series 2018 Belarus Open Marharyta Baltushite Tatsiana Chakavaya

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Day 4 - 2018 ITTF Challenge Belarus Open