29 Sep 2021

Places in the main draw at stake, equally places in the 2022 World Team Championships in Chengdu also at stake; that was very much the focal point for outfits in the first division of the men’s team event at the 2021 ITTF-ATTU Asian Championships in Doha on Wednesday 29th September.

Six groups the previous day; those finishing in first places entered a knock-out stage in which the two finalists joined the six who had gained main draw direct entries.

by Ian Marshall

Moreover, 10 teams qualified for the 2022 World Team Championships, the top six seeds guaranteed a place.

Thus, the fixtures that started the day had an importance of note; win and a place in Chengdu beckoned, lose and you were on the reserve list, nothing guaranteed.

Saudi Arabia and Kazakhstan emerged successful.

Represented by Ali Alkhadrawi, Naif Al-Jadai and Abdulaziz Bu Shulaybi, Saudi Arabia recorded a 3-2 win against the Uzbekistan outfit formed by Abdulaziz Anorboev, Mukhammad Uktamboev and Zokhid Kenjaev.

The player to cause the problems for Saudi Arabia was Zokhid Kenjaev. He accounted for both Naif Al-Jadai (11-8, 7-11, 11-9, 11-9) and Ali Alkhadrawi (5-11, 12-10, 7-11, 11-7, 11-3).

Hard fought, at the same stage, matters were less stressful for the Kazakhstan trio formed by Kirill Gerassimenko, Aidos Kenzhigulov and Alan Kurmangaliyev. They recorded a 3-0 win against Bahrain’s Salman Abuhamda, Rashed Rashed and Mohamed Saleh.

A top 10 finish achieved, for Kazakhstan with no changes to the selection in the contest to determine a main draw place, a 3-1 victory was recorded against Thailand’s Nanpat Thanmathikom, Sitisak Nuchchart and Puripong Saelee.

Once again as throughout the tournament, Kirill Gerassimenko remained steadfast. He accounted for both Puripong Saelee (12-10, 9-11, 11-6, 11-5) and Nanpat Thanmathikom (10-12, 11-5, 11-7, 11-8).

Conversely, with the same three players in action, Saudi Arabia experienced defeat at the hands of the Singapore combination formed by Clarence Chew, Josh Shao Han Chua and Pang Yew En Koen. Architect of the Singaporean success was Clarence Chew; he beat Naif Al-Jadi (11-6, 5-11, 12-14, 11-8, 11-7) and Ali Alkhadrawi (11-5, 11-6, 11-5).

Both in the lower half of the draw, Kazakhstan meets Japan; Singapore opposes Chinese Taipei.

Meanwhile, in the opposite half of the draw, seeded teams in action, matters have advanced to the semi-final round; Korea Republic opposes India.

Impressively, with Sharath Kamal Achanta, Harmeet Desai and Sathiyan Gnanasekaran on duty, India recorded a 3-1 win against Iran’s Nima Alamian, Noshad Alamiyan and Amir Hossein Hodaei; by the same margin the Korea Republic outfit comprising Jang Woojin, Lee Sangsu and Lim Jonghoon overcame Hong Kong’s Ho Kwan Kit, Lam Siu Hang and Wong Chun Ting.

Backbone of Korean Republic success was Jang Woojin, he beat both Lam Siu Hang (11-9, 9-11, 15-13, 12-10) and Wong Chun Ting (11-8, 12-14, 6-11, 11-9, 11-9); for India the man in form was Sharath Kamal Achanta. He accounted for both Nima Alamian (11-9, 6-11, 11-9, 11-5) and Noshad Alamiyan (11-8, 11-8, 8-11, 11-9).

The men’s team quarter-finals will be played on Thursday 30th September, the semi-finals and final on Friday 1st October.

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