16 Sep 2019

China safely through to the men’s team semi-finals alongside Korea Republic on the opening day of play at the 2019 ITTF-ATTU Asian Championships and also together with Chinese Taipei in the women’s team competition; the question posed on Monday 16th September in Yogyakarta was who would complete the last four names.

In both disciplines Japan provided the answer; as did Chinese Taipei in the men’s team event and in the women’s Singapore.

by Ian Marshall, Editor

The success gained by Singapore was not to be anticipated, they had been required to compete in the qualification stage; for Japan and Chinese Taipei it was as advised; they had received direct entries to the quarter-finals.

Occupying the no.7 seeded position, the highest rated outfit in the qualification stage; selecting Feng Tianwei, Lin Ye and Yu Mengyu, a place in the quarter-finals was secured following a 3-1 success in opposition to the no.11 seeds, the Malaysian combination of Ho Ying, Karen Lyne and Tee Ai Xin.

Team effort

No change to the selection, facing the no.4 seeds, the Korea Republic outfit formed by Jeon Jihee, Suh Hyowon and Yang Haeun, a team effort secured a 3-1 win.

Lin Ye gave Singapore the ideal start by overcoming Jeon Jihee (11-9, 11-4, 11-6), prior to Suh Hyowon levelling matters; she recovered from a two games to nil deficit to beat Feng Tianwei (2-11, 8-11, 11-5, 11-8, 11-9). Parity, Yu Mengyu accounted for Yang Haeun (9-11, 11-6, 11-7, 11-4), before, after surrendering two match points in the third game, Feng Tianwei overcame Jeon Jihee (12-10, 11-6, 10-12, 12-10).

Success against the odds for Singapore; it was not to be the outcome for the no.9 seeds, Thailand, who had progressed safely through the qualification phase. Again on duty, Suthasini Sawettabut, Orawan Paranag and Nanthana Komwong experienced a 3-0 defeat when facing the no.2 seeds, Japan’s Miu Hirano, Kasumi Ishikawa and Hitomi Sato.

Impressively, Thailand had reserved their place in the last eight courtesy of a 3-0 success in opposition to the no.8 seeds, the Indian trio of Manika Batra, Archana Girish Kamath and Ayhika Mukherjee.

At the semi-final stage Japan meets Chinese Taipei, Singapore confronts China; the women’s team event will be played to a conclusion on Tuesday 17th September.

Step too far

Meanwhile, in the men’s team event, for Iran, the no.8 seeds and India, the no.7 seeds, it was one contest too far.

Occupying the no.8 seeded position, selecting Nima Alamian, Noshad Alamiyan and Amin Ahmadian, Iran started the day with a 3-0 win against the no.29 seeds, Bahrain’s Rashed Rashed, Mohamed Saleh and Alyas Alyassi. Later, with Amir Hossein Hodaei replacing Amin Ahmadian a 3-1 success was the order of proceedings when facing the no.11 seeds, DPR Korea’s An Ji Song, Ham Yu Song and Kim Ok Chan.

A quarter-final place reserved, a 3-1 defeat emerged the outcome against the no.3 seeds, the Chinese Taipei trio of Chen Chien-An, Liao Cheng-Ting and Peng Wang-Wei under the guidance of Chiang Peng-Lung.

Chen Chien-An the mainstay

Mainstay of the victory was Chen Chien-An; after Noshad Alamiyan had beaten Peng Wang-Wei (13-11, 11-6, 13-11) in the opening match of the fixture, he overcame Nima Alamian (6-11, 11-6, 11-8, 11-8), before concluding matters by accounting for Noshad Alamiyan (11-8, 11-9, 9-11, 15-13). One match earlier, Liao Cheng-Ting had prevailed against Amir Hossein Hodaei (12-10, 11-9, 11-6) to give Chinese Taipei the advantage.

“We had a lucky draw. It would have been tougher for us if we had faced India in the quarter-finals. Today Chen Chien-An performed really well and won two points for the team. We sent many young players this time; this is their first Asian Championships experience. Our goal is just to train younger players. We did not set up any specific aim here. We are happy that we enter the semi-finals and have secured a medal.” Chiang Peng-Lung

Similarly, for India, it was the third fixture of the day. Selecting throughout Sharath Kamal Achanta, Sathiyan Gnanasekaran and Harmeet Desai; a 3-1 win was recorded against Saudi Arabia’s Ali Alkhadrawi, Abdulaziz Alabbad and Abdulaziz Bu Shulaybi, before a 3-0 victory margin was the order the day in opposition to Thailand’s Padasak Tanviriyavechakul, Supanut Wisutmaythangkoon and Yanapong Panagitgun.

Fine start

Through in style to the quarter-finals, facing Japan, the no.4 seeds, India could not have made a better start. Sathiyan Gnanasekaran beat Tomokazu Harimoto (11-4, 11-7, 12-10) but that was to be only the Indian success. Maharu Yoshimura accounted for Sharath Kamal Achanta (11-8, 10-12, 11-5, 14-12), Takuya Jin overcame Harmeet Desai (11-7, 6-11, 11-6, 11-2), before matters concluded in anti-climax with Sharath Kamal Achanta being forced to withdraw when losing 3-7 in the opening game against Tomokazu Harimoto through sheer exhaustion.

A long day concluded; now for the men’s team semi-finalists, a day to rest. The penultimate round which witnesses Japan versus China and Chinese Taipei in opposition to Korea Republic followed by the final will be played on Wednesday 18th September.

2019 ITTF Asian Championships Singapore Lin Ye

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Day 8 - 2019 ITTF-ATTU Asian Championships