by Kabir Nagpal
It was a day for both David and Goliath in Muscat as the top seeds in women’s doubles rightfully claimed their spot on the podium, while the favourites for the men’s doubles could not do the same.
Japan’s Honoka Hashimoto and Hitomi Sato were crowned women’s doubles champions following a devastating performance in the final. Starting with blistering pace the Asian duo never looked to slow down throughout. They defeated the second seeds from Singapore, Zeng Jian and Lin Ye, in straight games (11-3, 11-9, 11-7).
It was a ‘top gun’ performance from Hashimoto and Sato, who had previously clashed in the women’s singles semi-finals earlier in the day. All enmity was swiftly forgotten as they joined forces to win the gold in stupendous fashion. For Zeng and Lin it came out to be too much of a hassle and not once in the 21 minute-final did Singaporeans find a way past the Japanese.
Considering national association compatriots in one team, in the men’s doubles different association pairings asserted authority. Slovakian Lubomir Pistej and Serbian Aleksandar Karakasevic defied expectations to claim men’s doubles gold after facing the top seeded pairing of Martin Allegro and Florent Lambiet.
The Belgians came into the final with the wind in their sails and what followed was somewhat unexpected.
It took no more than 17 minutes and three straight games for Karakasevic and Pistej to win 3-0 (11-8, 11-6, 11-6) against Belgium’s Martin Allegro and Florent Lambiet. They displayed a sense of ruthlessness and calm to shackle their opponents.