India and Czech Republic complete turnarounds
Both 1-2 down at the halfway stage of their respective encounters, India and Czech Republic have successfully turn their fortunes around to beat Sweden and DPR Korea 3-2.
Manika Batra and Archana Girish Kamath produced deciding game victories over Christina Kallberg (10-12, 11-7, 9-11, 11-4, 11-7) and Linda Bergstrom (11-8, 8-11, 9-11, 11-7, 13-11) to send India’s women’s team through while Lubomir Pistej and Pavel Sirucek came good for the Czechs.
“We knew that it would be a tough match. We are happy that we managed it. The Korean No.1 played in position 3 and we didn’t expect that. We will give our best, but the Korea Republic team is one of the best teams in the world. This event is more emotional because are playing for the whole Czech Republic. We have a good team and we are very good friends. It gives us more confidence.” Tomas Polansky
Korea Republic advances
There was no stopping Korea Republic in the Round of 32 of the men’s team competition with Jeoung Youngsik’s victory over Kirill Skachkov (8-11, 11-3, 11-1, 11-8) sealing a 3-0 win over Russia.
Korea Republic move 2-0 up following Jang Woojin’s win over Alexander Shibaev (11-7, 11-7, 11-6) and the Czech Republic is level with DPR Korea at 1-1 with Pavel Sirucek turning in a positive display for the European side. Matilda Ekholm has put Sweden back in front and now lead India 2-1.
Batra restores parity
One of the leading names in Indian table tennis, Manika Batra has seen off Linda Bergstrom across four games (11-4, 6-11, 11-7, 11-7) to bring India level with Sweden at 1-1. Returning to table 1 and Romania has wrapped up its Round of 32 affair against Italy 3-0 with Daniela Monteiro Dodean sailing past Giorgia Piccolin (13-11, 11-4, 11-3).
“We were preparing for every opponent, we were expecting that it was possible to play against anyone, outside the first eight. For now, we are going to watch the match, Sweden against India, and tomorrow we will prepare.” Daniela Monteiro Dodean
Korean sides gain early advantage
DPR Korea, 31st, holds an early lead against higher seeded Czech Republic, 16, thanks to Kim Ok Chan and An Ji Song’s mini-comeback win over Lubomir Jancarik and Tomas Polansky (12-14, 12-10, 11-9, 11-9).
Over on table 2 Korea Republic are 1-0 ahead against Russia with Lee Sangsu and Jeoung Youngsik also recovering from a one-game deficit against Vladimir Sidorenko and Kirill Skachkov (14-16, 11-4, 11-4, 11-7).
Romania off to flying start
2019 European champions Romania aren’t wasting anytime in their opening round meeting with Italy, emerging victorious in the doubles and picking up a singles win courtesy of Bernadette Szocs who beat Debora Vivarelli (11-6, 11-8, 11-3). Sweden leads India in the other 19.30 women’s team fixture.
Victories to celebrate for Hungary, India and Slovenia
Szandra Pergel has narrowly edged a tight match against Sun Jiayi (1-11, 11-9, 13-11, 10-12, 14-12) to guide Hungary past Croatia by a commanding 3-0 margin in the women’s team category.
Team India will be present amongst the last 16 in the men’s team race with Sharath Kamal Achanta’s victory over Luxembourg’s Eric Glod bringing the tie to a close – it has finished India 3-0 Luxembourg. Elsewhere, back-to-back successes for Darko Jorgic and Bojan Tokic sees Slovenia battle past Iran 3-1.
Brave fight but Luka Mladenovic
An incredible display from Luka Mladenovic but ultimately he falls short as Sathiyan Gnanasekaran recovers from two games down (8-11, 9-11, 11-3, 13-11, 11-6) to extend India’s advantage over Luxembourg to 2-0.
Iran has pulled levelled at 1-1 with Slovenia on table 3 following Noshad Alamiyan’s victory over Bojan Tokic. On table 4 Dora Madarasz proved too strong for Mateja Jeger in a four-game battle – Hungary leads Croatia 2-0.
Hosts make quick work of opposition
It hasn’t take long for hosts Portugal to negotiate its opening women’s team match in Gondomar with Fu Yu and Shao Jieni powering past Eva Jurkova (11-2, 11-6, 11-6) and Tatiana Kukulkova (11-8, 11-3, 11-2) in straight games.
“We feel more motivated playing at home, with the public. We know how important an event this is, so we practiced a lot to be ready to play our best. Every team is good, it’s difficult, but we are motivated and are going to do everything to try and win.” Shao Jieni
Testing start but Slovenia edges ahead
What a start we’ve just witnessed to the men’s team contest between Slovenia and Iran with the European nation’s Deni Kozul and Darko Jorgic fighting back from behind twice to inflict a 3-2 defeat upon Hamidreza Taherkhani and Nima Alamian (10-12, 11-4, 8-11, 11-9, 11-8).
In the other men’s team Round of 32 fixture, India leads Luxembourg 1-0 while the two women’s team battles favour Hungary and hosts Portugal in their respective meetings with Croatia and Slovakia.
Here’s what Sofia Polcanova had to say following Austria’s victory over Czech Republic:
Team Austria cruise
Liu Jia and Sofia Polcanova have helped their side achieve a momentous 3-0 win over Team Czech Republic.
Polcanova beat Hana Matelova 3-1 (7-11, 11-3, 13-11, 11-9) and then Jia saw off Dana Cechova in straight games, asserting an air of dominance at the table.
Spain secure win, DPR Korea follow
Spain have secured a 3-0 overall win over Team Great Britain, with Galia Dvorak beating Charlotte Carey in straight games. DPR Korea also echoed in the same fashion, with Cha Hyo Sim seeing off Malaysia’s Ho Ying (11-5, 11-7, 11-3), giving DPR Korea a 3-0 win.
“At first we were a little bit nervous because I think we were favourite, and it’s not easy to play with the pressure, and it’s not easy to start the game with doubles, but we refocused and manage to win.
I was playing with the score 2-0 for me which gave me more confidence. I just focused on my game properly and it worked. It’s going to be the final match, who wins qualifies, and everybody is so nervous so the focus will be the more important thing.” Galia Dvorak
In the last remaining game of the 14:30 session, Team Austria are leading Team Czech Republic by 1-0, Liu Jia and Liu Yuan beating Dana Cechova and Karin Adamkova 3-1 (11-9, 7-11, 11-6, 11-6).
Korea Republic win in style
Shin Yubin closed the shop in style for Korea Republic, as they beat Team Lithuania 3-0 overall, as Ugne Baskutyte lost to the young Shin in straight games.
DPR Korea and Spain both now lead by 2-0, as Kim Song I and Maria Xaio beat Malaysia’s Chang Li Sian Alice and Great Britain’s Ho Tin-Tin respectively.
Belarus win thriller!
Viktoria Pavlovich has turned fortune in favor of the Belarussians as a mammoth comeback saw their team beat Thailand 3-2 overall, having been 1-2 down. After the heroics of Nadezhda Bogdanova, Pavlovich beat Nanthana Komwong 3-0 (15-13, 11-9, 11-7) to secure this massive victory.
Also, Korea Republic have now doubled their advantage, as Suh Hyowon beat Kornelija Riliskyte in straight games, meaning the Asian side lead by 2-0 against Lithuania.
Early leads for DPR Korea and Korea Republic
The Asian giants are in full flow as Korea Republic and DPR Korea both have 1-0 leads over Team Lithuania and Team Malaysia respectively. Choi Hyojoo and Shin Yubin recorded the early win against Vitalija Venckute and Ugne Baskutyte, while DPR Korea’s Kim Nam Sae and Cha Hyo Sim also won against Tee Ai Xin and Ho Ying.
Team Spain also took the lead against Team Great Britain, Galia Dvorak and Sofia-Xuan Zhang pushing a 3-1 (7-11, 11-7, 11-7, 11-8) win against Charlotte Carey and Maria Tsaptsinos.
Singapore follows, Belarus create havoc
Team Singapore needed just one more win from Feng Tianwei, who used her experience against Lian Ni Xia, winning 3-2 (8-11, 11-7, 11-9, 7-11, 11-4) after being a game down, to record an overall 3-1 win over Team Luxembourg.
Team Belarus’ Nadezhda Bogdanova was engaged in a thriller of her own, winning 3-2 (11-9, 8-11, 11-5, 6-11, 16-14) versus Thailand’s Suthasini Sawettabut, and levelling up the scores to 2-2! Who will blink in the decider?
Netherlands and France win
It came down to Stephanie Loeuilette’s performance of the day as she gave Team France a 3-1 overall win against team Russia, beating Polina Mikhailova 3-2 (11-6, 11-5, 13-15, 5-11, 11-7) in a fierce display of class.
“It’s the first game, it’s strange, the pressure is here. We play against them a lot, against Mikhailova, we watched a video to prepare and we play our best. Against her (Mikhailova) it’s definitely difficult, because she attacks and defends a lot, it depends a lot more on her. We have to be focused and patient. We are playing Chinese Taipei, really good team, but we also have good doubles, we will try our best” Andrey Zarif
Team Netherlands followed suit and secured a 3-0 overall win as Britt Eerland got the final win over Team Serbia’s Sabina Surjan (11-4, 11-7, 9-11, 11-8).
Singapore and Thailand regain control
Thailand have hit back to take a 2-1 lead against Belarus, after Viktoria Pavlovich and Orawan Paranang won a game each. Team Singapore’s Feng Tianwei and Yu Mengyu have won back-to-back battles against Tessy Gonderineger and Sarah de Nutte, and are now leading Luxembourg 2-1.
Two for Netherlands, France one win away
Team Netherlands have a 2-0 lead over Serbia, as Li Jie won 3-1 (8-11, 11-6, 13-11, 11-5) versus Andrea Todorovic. Meanwhile, Team France rose back from a loss against Russia, and now have a 2-1 lead going into the singles’ match between Stephanie Loeuilette and Polina Mikhalilova.
Singapore hit roadblock, Netherlands in good flow
Singapore’s start to the day has been quite eventful as Luxembourg’s Lian Ni Xia and Sarah de Nutte have come out of nowhere to win the first battle 3-2 (11-9, 6-11, 11-5, 7-11, 11-7) against Lin Ye and Yu Mengyu. Netherlands’ Li Jiao and Britt Eerland have secured the first win 3-1 (11-6, 9-11, 11-4, 11-6) against Serbia’s Isabela Lupulesku and Sabina Surjan.
France lead, Thailand too
Team France have a 1-0 lead over their Russian opponents, with Yuan Jia Nan and Stephanie Loeuilette beating Yana Noskova and Olga Vorobeva in straight games (11-6, 11-6, 11-9). Over at table 2, it took the Thailand duo of Nanthana Komwong and Orawan Paranang four games to see off their Belarusian rivals, winning their first battle 3-1 (11-9, 9-11, 11-2, 11-7).
Time for afternoon action
All hands on deck – the 12:00 session has just begun and we have four more women’s teams fixtures as Russia takes on France, with Thailand facing Belarus, Singapore against Luxembourg, and finally Serbia take on Netherlands. Get ready for some amazing games!
Italy comes good in the end
Off to a slow start in Gondomar but Italy has fought back from its early deficit to negotiate a brave Malaysian side 3-1. Mihai Bobocica picks up his second win of the match, needing just three games to prevail over Choong Javen (11-9, 11-2, 11-6).
All smiles for Poland
We have some results to bring you, two of which make for positive reading for Polish fans. Team Poland completed 3-0 victories over Lithuania and Nigeria in the respective men’s and women’s team events while Ganna Gaponova helped Ukraine women to a 3-0 success over Belgium, beating Nathalie Marchetti without dropping a game.
“The score was 3-0 but it wasn’t an easy match. We were really focused, every one of us. In my game, 3rd set I was down 7-3, I tried to come back and succeed. Like before the European championship, we had a training camp in Porto. We practiced well and clever, I hope we will qualify for the Olympics. Team Nigeria is dangerous, they have very good players. So we need to think about the tactics and be prepared.” Jakub Dyjas
Pesotska doubles Ukraine advantage
An established player on the European scene, Margaryta Pesotska has beaten a rising star in Belgium’s Lisa Lung (11-2, 11-9, 11-5) to extend Ukraine’s advantage over Belgium to 2-0. Poland also holds a 2-0 lead in its tie with Nigeria.
Over to the men’s team action and Italy has managed to level the scores against Malaysia. On table 2 Poland’s lead over Lithuania doubles to 2-0.
Malaysians strike surprise lead
Seeded eight positions below their European counterparts but it’s Malaysia that claims a stunning early lead against Italy on table 1 with Choong Javen and Wong Qi Shen beating Leonardo Mutti and Niagol Stoyanov 3-1 (11-4, 3-11, 11-9, 12-10).
The other men’s team contest sees Poland 1-0 to the good against Lithuania while Poland and Ukraine lead Nigeria and Belgium respectively in the women’s team event.
The time has arrived – we have four fixtures to start off proceedings in Gondomar as Malaysia entertains Italy, with Lithuania and Poland also meeting in men’s team action while the women’s team event sees Poland and Nigeria face off and Belgium take on Ukraine.