by Ian Marshall, Editor
Spain, the top seeds, represented by Marc Gutierrez, Alberto Lillo and Francisco Miguel Ruiz almost came to grief when facing the no.5 seeds, the Croatian outfit comprising Ivor Ban, Filip Borovnjak and Lovro Zovko; a three-two victory margin was the end result.
A narrow defeat for the Croatians, moreover it was their second of the day. In their opening engagement they had suffered by the same margin when facing the no.13 seeds, the combination of Portugal’s Tomas Ferreira and João Silva who joined forces with England’s Naphat Boonyaprupa.
Tomas Ferreira, João Silva and Naphat Boonyaprupa duly finished in second place in the group, in the concluding contest experiencing a three-one defeat at the hands of Spain.
Likewise, for the no.2 seeds, Portugal’s Samuel da Silva, Gonçalo Gomez and Tiago Li, there was a close call. They needed the full five matches to overcome, the no.11 seeds, the French outfit comprising Antoine Doyen, Enzo Leguistin and Louis Reueau. Disappointment for the French duo but it was their only defeat; thus second place and progress to the main draw was achieved.
Hard fought success for the top two teams; it was even harder for the no.3 seeds, the combination of the Czech Republic’s Radim Bako and Frantisek Onderka, who lined up alongside Russia’s Aleksandr Kraskovskii. They were extended the full five match distance by the no.9 seeds, the Nordic outfit comprising Sweden’s Lee Larson and Theo Abrahamsson who partnered Finland’s Noah Steff.
Tense moments for it was the same for the trio in their very next engagement; they needed the full five matches to overcome Spain’s Alberto Viladrell, Miguel Nuñez and Diego Salazar. The Spaniards duly secured second place in the group, remaining true to tradition, they recorded a three-two win in opposition to Lee Larson, Theo Abrahamsson and Noah Steff.
Close engagements but of course there is always the exception; in the one remaining group it was matters as status advised and without drama. The team formed by Chile’s Andres Martinez and Gustavo Castillo alongside India’s Deepit Patel finished in first position without being extended to five matches in any contest.
England’s Shayan Siraj, Ethan Walsh and James Smith, the no.7 seeds, ended the day in runners up spot.
Play in Guimarães concludes on Friday 30th November.