by Ian Marshall, Editor
The no.3 seeds, the 3-2 success against the no.11 seeds, the Netherlands was as status advised, Feng Tianwei being the backbone; she accounted for Britt Eerland (11-9, 11-6, 11-8) in the second match of the fixture, before in the fifth and decisive contest overcoming Li Jiao (11-8, 13-15, 11-5, 11-5) to seal the victory.
According to status, it was somewhat different for DPR Korea, the no.10 seeds; they ousted Korea Republic, the no.4 seeds, to cause an upset of note. The player to attract the attention for the victors was Kim Nam Hae, she partnered Cha Hyo Sim to doubles success against Choi Hyojoo and Shin Yubin (7-11, 11-7, 11-9, 12-10), before bringing matters to a conclusion by overcoming Suh Hyowon (9-11, 14-12, 12-10, 11-4).
Unexpected, it was to some extent the same for Hungary, they were the no.7 seeds against Portugal, the no.13 seeds but they were without Georgina Pota, their leading player.
They needed a star performance, Dora Madarasz fulfilled the role. After Maria Fazekas and Szandra Pergel had beaten Luo Xue and Shao Jieni (11-7, 6-11, 11-8, 11-4) to give Hungary the ideal start, Dora Madarasz overcame Fu Yu (5-11, 15-13, 11-7, 11-5), before accounting for Luo Xue (8-11, 11-6, 8-11, 11-6, 11-7) to end matters.
European champion, the guiding hand
A 3-1 success for Hungary, it was the same for Poland, the no.8 seeds, in opposition to Ukraine, the no.9 seeds. Mainstay of the victory was Li Qian, the reigning European champion, she beat both Margaryta Pesotska (11-8, 11-3, 13-11) and Tetyana Bilenko (8-11, 8-11, 12-10, 11-9, 11-8).
Notably, in the third match of the fixture, Natalia Partyka overcame Ganna Gaponova; the result means that for the fourth consecutive occasion, Natalia Partyka has qualified for both the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games.
Korea Republic, the Netherlands, Portugal and Ukraine now compete for ninth place.
Serbia causes major upset
Surprise outcomes in the women’s team event; in the men’s, as outfits strived for a place in the round that would decide the Olympic place, it was the same situation, Serbia, Poland, Hungary and Slovakia being the teams to upset the order of merit.
Pride of place went to Serbia, the no.27 seeds, they recorded a thrilling 3-2 win in opposition to Austria, the no.6 seeds.
Robert Gardos beat Marko Jevtovic (7-11, 8-11, 11-6, 11-5, 11-6) to keep Austrian hopes alive, after earlier in the contest having accounted for Dimitrije Levajac (11-7, 9-11, 11-3, 5-11, 11-8). Defeat for Dimitrije Levajac but he had the last laugh; in the vital fifth match of the fixture, by the narrowest of margins, he overcame Stefan Fegerl (12-10, 1-11, 10-12, 11-8, 11-9).
An inspired performance, it was the same from Jakub Dyjas; he was the backbone of the win for the no.23 seeds, Poland, in opposition to the no.14 seeds, Nigeria. A 3-2 margin of victory was the order of the day; Jakub Dyjas beat Quadri Aruna (11-7, 12-10, 13-11, 11-5) and in the vital fifth match of the engagement, Segun Toriola (10-12, 11-8, 11-6, 11-8).
The win dented the aspirations of Segun Toriola seeking a record eighth Olympic Games appearance.
Harsh for Belarus
It was the same for Vladimir Samsonov, in search of a seventh. Belarus, the no.15 seeds, experienced a 3-0 defeat at the hands of Hungary, the no.17 seeds, the result somewhat harsh on Belarus.
Every match went the full five games. Nandor Ecseki and Adam Szudi beat Aliaksandr Khanin and Pavel Platonov (11-8, 14-12, 6-11, 12-10, 11-7), before Bence Majoros accounted for Vladimir Samsonov (11-9, 11-8, 8-11, 6-11, 11-3) and Adam Szudi secured the victory, overcoming Aliaksandr Khanin (7-11, 8-11, 11-9, 12-10, 11-3).
Likewise for Slovakia, the no.18 seeds, when facing Romania, the no.13 seeds, there was a performance of note; a full distance 3-2 success, the man of the moment for the victors was Wang Yang.
In the second match of the fixture, his defensive skills prevailed against Ovidiu Ionescu (11-2, 10-12, 11-7, 11-4), in the deciding fifth contest once again when opposing Hunor Szocs (11-7, 11-5, 11-8).
Surprises but other than Austria, in the men’s event, it was a successful day for the leading teams; Chinese Taipei, Sweden and France all progressed to the round which will determine Olympic Games qualification, as did Great Britain, Portugal and Croatia.
Last 16 – Round to decide Olympic Games places
Korea Republic (1) v Czech Republic (16)
Slovenia (11) v India (5)
Great Britain (7) v Croatia (9)
Hungary (17) v Sweden (3)
France (4) v Slovakia (18)
Belgium (12) v Portugal (8)
Serbia (27) v Hong Kong China (10)
Poland (23) v Chinese Taipei (2)
Hong Kong China (1) v Belarus (22)
Spain (14) v Austria (6)
Romania (5) v India (17)
France (18) v Chinese Taipei (2)
Seeding in brackets, all matches will be played on Friday 24th January.