by Ian Marshall, Editor
Occupying the no.22 seeded position, they recorded a 3-2 win against Thailand, the no.15 seeds, a contest in which they faced the precipice of defeat.
The backbone of the win was 41 year old Viktoria Pavlovich, the player to respond was 19 years of age Nadezhda Bogdanova, a young lady who was not even born when her colleague made the first of now 20 World Championships appearances in 1995 in Tianjin.
After Nadezhda Bogdanova and Daria Trigolos had lost to Nanthana Komwong and Orawan Paranang (11-9, 9-11, 11-2, 11-7), winners on home soil in Bangkok at the 2018 ITTF Challenge Thailand Open, when beating Japan’s Satsuki Odo and Saki Shibata in the final, Viktoria Pavlovich entered the arena.
She accounted for Suthasini Sawettabut in four games (11-9, 11-8, 15-17, 11-8), before in the vital fifth and deciding match of the fixture overcoming Nanthana Komwong (15-13, 11-9, 11-7) to bring matters to a conclusion.
A comprehensive win for Viktoria Pavlovich to ensure progress, the immediately preceding contest had been the very opposite.
After Daria Trigolos had lost to Orawan Paranang (11-7, 11-8, 4-11, 11-7), Nadezhda Bogdanova played the match of her life, she beat Suthasini Sawettabut by the very narrowest of margins (11-9, 8-11, 11-5, 6-11, 16-14) to keep Belarus afloat and Olympic Games hopes alive.
Stunning from Nadezhda Bogdanova, ever reliable from Viktoria Pavlovich. Steadfast, the defence especialy from the backhand like the proverbial brick wall, it has been the hallmark of Viktoria Pavlovich. The winner of the women’s singles title at the European Championships in 2010 in Ostrava and 2012 in Herning underlines her quality; notably she reached no.11 on the women’s world rankings in May and June 2005 as well as in April 2014. Currently she is listed at no.154 but that is owing to an absence from the international scene.
In Portugal when country called she responded, just as she did in 2006 at the World Team Championships in Bremen alongside twin sister Veronika and Tatsiana Kostromina; the trio secured a bronze medal, the 3-1 quarter-final win against the Korea Republic now part of Belarus sporting folklore.
Such was the effort made on that occasion, emotion took over; speaking to the media proved impossible.
Viktoria Pavlovich the backbone of the victory but salute the ever improving Nadezhda Bogdanova; she responded magnificently, keeping mind and body together at the crucial times.
She has yet to hit the heights achieved by Viktoria Pavlovich but she has one notable podium finish to her credit.
At Butterfly 2019 European Under 21 Championships, she reached the semi-final stage of the women’s singles event; the venue, Gondomar!