by Ian Marshall, Editor
Pride of place undoubtedly went to the Korea Republic who, for the third consecutive time, upset the order of merit; in the group stage they had beaten India, the no.6 seeds, followed by success in opposition to Brazil, the no.12 seeds.
A successful formula had been established but in the quarter-final engagement, there was a change of policy. In the earlier contests Shin Yubin had been sent out first, against Chinese Taipei that honour was bestowed on Ryu Hanna. She duly responded to the mantle of responsibility; she beat Su Pei-Ling (11-9, 6-11, 11-7, 11-9), before Shin Yubin accounted for Tsai Yu-Chin (11-4, 11-3, 11-4) and, in a much closer contest decided by the minimal margin in the deciding fifth game, Wee Yeji overcame Chen Ting-Ting (4-11, 11-8, 7-11, 11-2, 11-9).
Impressive from Korea Republic, it was the same from Russia with Anastasia Kolish the player to set the wheels in motion. She beat Lee Ka Yee (11-4, 11-6, 4-11, 13-11), prior to Mariia Tailakova showing no charity when facing Wong Chin Yau (11-8, 11-9, 11-6). Kristina Kasantzeva sealed the victory by maintaining her nerve in opposition to Chau Wing Sze when a recovery loomed (11-9, 11-6, 8-11, 12-10).
Upsets, in the remaining last eight contests, matters went as status advised. Japan, the top seeds, represented by a highly focused trio of Satsuki Odo, Miyu Nagasaki and Miyuu Kihara recorded a three-nil win in opposition to the no.7 seeds, Romania’s Andreea Dragoman, Tania Plaian and Elena Zaharia.
Success without blemish, somewhat ironically at the quarter-final stage of the Girls’ Team competition, the only outfit to surrender an individual match was China, the defending champions and despite only being listed as the no.4 seeds, results this year suggest title favourites.
Selecting Huang Fanzhen, Qian Tianyi and Shi Xunyao, they secured a three-one win in opposition to the no.8 seeds, the United States combination formed by Amy Wang, Crystal Wang and Rachel Yang. The player to attract the attention being Amy Wang, in the third match of the encounter, she beat Huang Fanzhen by the very narrowest of decisions (16-14, 8-11, 13-11, 8-11, 11-9).
Problems for Huang Fanzhen but not for her colleagues; Qian Tianyi accounted for Rachel Yang (11-6, 11-2, 11-6) and Crystal Wang (11-7, 11-9, 12-10), likewise Shi Xunyao also overcame Crystal Wang (11-8, 11-6, 11-8).
At the semi-final stage, Japan meets Russia, China opposes Korea Republic; the contests are scheduled for the afternoon of Tuesday 4th December.