by Ian Marshall, Editor
Nandor Ecseki emerged the hero of the hour for Hungary in their 3-1 win against Great Britain.
After joining forces with Adam Szudi to win the opening doubles against Paul Drinkhall and Sam Walker (11-9, 7-11, 11-5, 11-5), in the fourth match of the fixture he caused the biggest upset of the day. He beat Liam Pitchford (11-8, 6-11, 11-9, 11-8) to seal the victory.
Presently, on the men’s world rankings, Liam Pitchford is named at no.22, Nandor Ecseki at no.139.
Tomas Polansky and Pavel Sirucek
Success against the odds for Hungary was soon followed by the same for the Czech Republic in opposition to India.
Architects of the 3-1 victory were Tomas Polansky and Pavel Sirucek. Tomas Polansky partnered Lubomir Jancarik to a doubles success against Sharath Kamal Achanta and Harmeet Desai (12-14, 11-5, 11-9, 11-9), before concluding matters by overcoming Sathiyan Gnanasekaran (14-16, 12-10, 12-14, 11-8, 11-9).
Sandwiched in between, in the second match of the engagement, Pavel Sirucek had beaten Sathiyan Gnanasekaran (12-10, 13-11, 11-9), before Sharath Kamal Achanta had given India hope by overcoming Lubomir Jancarik (6-11, 11-7, 11-8, 11-8).
Slovakia upsets seeding
Two upsets at the quarter-final stage of the men’s event and there was one more. Earlier, the no.18 seeds, Slovakia, represented by Alexander Valuch, Lubomir Pistej and Wang Yang had recorded a 3-0 win in opposition to the no.12 seeds, the Belgium trio formed by Robin Devos, Florent Lambiet and Cédric Nuytinck.
Surprises, the one outfit to avoid the chasm was the no.10 seeds, Hong Kong China’s Ho Kwan Kit, Lam Siu Hang and Wong Chun Ting; they recorded a 3-1 win against the no.23 seeds, Poland’s Marek Badowski, Jakub Dyjas and Samuel Kulczycki.
At the semi-final stage the Czech Republic meets Hungary, Slovakia opposes Hong Kong China.
Exceeded all expectations
Meanwhile in the women’s event, France exceeded all expectations. After recording a tense 3-2 win against India, the no.17 seeds, they ended the hopes of the host nation. In the fixture that brought the day to an conclusion, they recorded a 3-1 success when opposing the no.13 seeds, Portugal.
Facing India, Marie Migot had been the heroine, she accounted for both Manika Batra (11-7, 3-11, 11-9, 3-11, 11-7) and, in the vital fifth match of the engagement, Ayhika Mukherjee (6-11, 11-8, 9-11, 11-9, 11-9).
Later in the day the honour belonged to Yuan Ji Nan. After Marie Migot and Stéphanie Loueillette had beaten Fu Yu and Luo Xue (11-9, 11-8, 13-11), Yuan Ji Nan overcame Shao Jieni (11-9, 11-7, 8-11, 8-11, 11-7) to give France a 2-0 lead. Fu Yu accounted for Stéphanie Loueillette (11-3, 11-6, 11-6) to raise Portuguese hopes but it was not to signal a recovery.
Yuan Ji Nan returned to the fray; she overcame Luo Xue (11-3, 11-6, 11-9) to seal the final place.
Korea Republic awaits
In the final, France meets Korea Republic, the no.4 seeds.
Selecting Choi Hyojoo, Lee Eunhye and Shin Yubin, a 3-1 success was posted against the no.9 seeds, the Ukraine combination of Tetyana Bilenko, Ganna Gaponova and Margaryta Pesotska.
One round later with Suh Hyowon replacing Lee Eunhye a 3-0 win was the order of the day against the no.14 seeds, the Spanish combination of Ana Garcia, Galia Dvorak and Maria Xiao.
Play in Gondomar concludes on Sunday 26th January.
Sunday 26th January – Order of Play
- 10.00 Table No.1 Men’s Team Semi-Final: Czech Republic versus Hungary
- 10.00 Table No.2 Men’s Team Semi-Final: Slovakia versus Hong Kong China
- 16.00 Table No.1 Women’s Team Final: Korea Republic versus France
- 19.00 Table No.1 Men’s Team Final