29 Sep 2021

First place was the outcome for the leading outfits, following the conclusion of the group stage of play in the men’s team and women’s team events at the 2021 ITTF-ATTU Asian Championships in Doha on Tuesday 28th September.

However, life was not without its moments of drama, especially in the women’s team event, the hour hand on the clock was well past 10.15 pm, as Iran eventually secured a thrilling 3-2 victory against a most spirited Indonesian trio.

by Ian Marshall

Backbone of the success was Neda Shahsavari, present at both the London 2012 and Rio 2016 Olympic Games; the 35 year old used her experience to good effect to beat Novida Widarahman in the opening  match of the fixture (11-5, 19-17, 11-4), before in the fourth contest accounting for Dwi Oktaviani Sugiarto (11-7, 11-6, 11-4).

The wins set the scene for Mahshid Ashtari to seal the victory, she duly obliged; in the concluding match of the engagement, she beat Novida Widarahman (11-9, 11-9, 11-8).

Success for Indonesia came in the guise of Dwi Oktaviani Sugiarto. In the second match of the meeting, she overcame Mahshid Ashtari (11-7, 6-11, 12-14, 11-8, 11-9), before in the immediately ensuing contest, Siti Aminah defeated Shima Safaei (7-11, 11-5, 11-7, 9-11, 11-5).

Otherwise, it was success for the principal teams without a single match being surrendered; the 3-0 score line, the popular outcome.

Four groups in the initial phase of the women’s team event, in addition to Iran, it was first place for India, Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan.

Meanwhile, in the men’s team event the only notable combination to experience any problems was Kazakhstan; they were tested by the Maldives, a 3-1 outcome being margin of victory.

Mohamed Shaffan emerged the player to trouble Kazakhstan; in the third match of the fixture, he beat Irisbek Artukmetov (6-11, 11-8, 11-6, 11-4).

However, Kirill Gerassimenko proved rock solid overcoming both Ahmed Khalid Akhyar (11-1, 11-1, 11-4) and Moosa Ahmed (11-4, 11-4, 11-3); in the one remaining contest Aidos Kenzhigulov defeated Moosa Ahmed (8-11, 11-6, 11-8, 11-6).

First group place for Kazakhstan in the men’s team event, it was the same for Singapore, Thailand, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Uzbekistan.

Group winners now enter a knock-out stage; the finalists join the six seeds in the main draw.

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