by Simon Daish
Korea Republic’s Lee Sangsu and Jeon Jihee boast quite the partnership with proven success on the international stage. In the semi-finals they met Thailand’s Padasak Tanviriyavechakul and Suthasini Sawettabut.
Seeded third for the draw, Tanviriyavechakul and Sawettabut had the odds stacked against them but made more than a good impression at the table – the stronger pair in game one, the Thai players put on a fine show and remained well within the contest with the scores level at 2-2 by the close of game four.
However, the quality of Lee and Jeon soon began to tell with the Koreans claiming back-to-back games to negotiate the match in six games (4-11, 11-7, 11-4, 5-11, 11-8, 11-8).
Contesting the other semi-final, India’s Sharath Kamal Achanta and Manika Batra were also made to work hard with the no.2 seeds narrowly holding off Singapore’s Pang Yew En Koen and Lin Ye, seeded fourth (12-10, 9-11, 11-5, 5-11, 11-8, 13-11).
The bronze medal-winning pair at the 2018 Commonwealth Games, Achanta and Batra have developed into a formidable outfit and will be more than up for the challenge when they meet face-to-face with Lee and Jeon for a ticket to Tokyo 2020.
Play in the mixed doubles event concludes on Saturday 20th March with the final scheduled from 10.00 (local time).