by Ian Marshall
One group, four players, a place at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games the prize; unbeaten on the initial day of action, Thailand’s Orawan Paranang duly maintained her form.
She kept the perfect record intact, finishing ahead of the Philippines duo of Janna Romero and Rose Jean Fadol with Indonesia’s Siti Amina in fourth place.
The main focus was very much on Middle Asia. Uzbekistan’s Rimma Gufranova completed her group stage matches unbeaten, leading Kazakhstan’s Anastassiya Lavrova and Iran’s Shima Safei.
Hard fought, it was even harder fought in the corresponding group. One match win apiece, on games ratio Iran’s Neda Shahsavari (7:5) finished ahead of Uzbekistan’s Markhabo Magdieva (7:7) and Kazakhstan’s Zauresh Akasheva (5:7).
Later at the semi-final stage Rimma Gufranova beat Markhabo Magdieva (11-6, 11-5, 15-13, 11-7), Anastassiya Lavrova accounted for Neda Shahsavari (11-6, 7-11, 7-11, 3-11, 11-7, 11-4, 12-10). Rimma Gufranova meets Anastassiya Lavrova to decide the Tokyo place.
Middle Asia and South East Asia provided the focus in the men’s events.
A surprise semi-final defeat for Kazakhstan’s Kirill Gerassimenko, the top seed, was the order of the day. He was beaten by Uzbekistan’s Zokhid Kanjaev, the no.3 seed (11-7, 12-14, 10-12, 11-6, 12-14, 11-9, 11-8).
In the counterpart semi-final, there was no brotherly love; Iran’s Nima Alamian, the no.4 seed, beat sibling Noshad Alamiyan, the no.2 seed (11-6, 6-11, 12-10, 13-11, 13-11). Zokhid Kanjaev and Nima Alamian now meet to decide the Olympic Games place.
Outstanding from Singapore, asserting their authority Pang Yew En Koen and Clarence Chew recorded imposing semi-final results.
Pang Yew En Koen beat Thailand’s Padasak Tanviriyavechakul (17-15, 11-6, 11-5, 11-7), while Clarence Chew overcame Indonesia’s Rafanael Nikola Niman (11-7, 7-11, 11-6, 11-3, 11-4). The two Singaporean players now meet to decide the Tokyo place.
“I am happy to have won today’s match. It was definitely a tough match but I just wanted to give my best and at the end of the day, let there be no regrets.” Clarence Chew
Exactly according to plan, such was the outcome at the semi-final stage of the mixed doubles event.
In the mid-afternoon, Korea Republic’s Lee Sangsu and Jeon Jihee followed by India’s Sharath Kamal Achanta and Manika Batra booked their places in the final. An Olympic Games invitation awaits the winner, for the loser the cupboard is bare.