Asia ruled supreme, the closest contest of the day being in the women’s event when outfits from the continent met; Hong Kong, the no.4 seeds, who the previous day had finished in second place in their group behind Korea Republic, the no.5 seeds, once again experienced defeat.
A 3-2 reverse for Doo Hoi Kem, Lee Ho Ching and Minnie Soo Wai Yam was the order of the day in opposition the no.3 seeds, the Chinese Taipei trio formed by Chen Szu-Yu, Cheng Hsien-Tzu and Cheng I-Ching. Architect of the Chinese Taipei success was the phlegmatic Cheng I-Ching; in the third match of the fixture she beat Doo Hoi Kem (7-11, 11-6, 12-10, 11-3), before in the vital fifth and deciding encounter overcoming Lee Ho Ching (9-11, 11-8, 11-8, 11-7).
The one further win for Chinese Taipei was recorded by Chen Szu-Yu in the third match of the fixture; safe and sound, as consistent as ever, she accounted for Minnie Soo Wai Yam in straight games (12-10, 12-10, 11-9).
Same fate for United States
Otherwise, the outcomes were of a more convincing nature. In the women’s event, China the top seeds, emulated their male counterparts by overcoming the United States, the no.7 seeds. Selecting Chen Meng, Liu Shiwen and Sun Yingsha, a 3-0 margin of victory was the outcome against the trio comprising Amy Wang, Wu Yue and Lily Zhang.
Excelling in the group stage and then drawing China at the quarter-finals of both the men’s and women’s events was surely long odds?
The Americans must have thought the gods of sport had conspired against them; nevertheless, they may well leave with the solace that they lost to the eventual champions?
European hopes end
Similarly in the women’s event, the no.2 seeds, the Japanese combination of Miu Hirano, Kasumi Ishikawa and Mima Ito, recorded a 3-0 win against the no.6 seeds, Romania’s Daniela Monteiro-Dodean, Elizabeta Samara and Bernadette Szocs; the contest concluding minutes before Korea Republic reserved their semi-final place.
Selecting Jeon Jihee, Suh Hyowon and Yang Haeun, a 3-1 win was the outcome in opposition to the no.8 seeds, Ukraine’s Tetyana Bilenko, Gana Gaponova and Margaryta Pesotska. The one win for the European outfit was recorded by Margaryta Pesotska; no stranger to the defensive art, her teammates being of that style, she overcame the backspin skills of Suh Hyowon (7-11, 11-8, 10-12, 11-7, 11-6) in the second match of the engagement.
At the semi-final stage China meets Chinese Taipei; Japan opposes Korea Republic.
Chinese Taipei halts English progress
Imposing performances, it was very much the same in the quarter-final contests enacted on the third day of action.
The no.9 seeds, the English trio formed by Paul Drinkhall, Tom Jarvis and Liam Pitchford was unable to rekindle the form of the previous day when they had secured first place in their group ahead of Japan and Austria; they experienced a 3-0 defeat at the hands of the no.7 seeds, the Chinese Taipei combination of Chen Chien-An, Liao Cheng-Ting and Lin Yun-Jun.
Once again Lin Yun-Ju showed his class by beating Liam Pitchford (11-9, 11-6, 13-11), before Chen Chien-An brought back memories. In 2008 in Madrid, after losing to Paul Drinkhall in the final at the El Salvador Junior and Cadet Open earlier in the year, Chen Chien-An beat the Englishman in the title decider at the World Junior Championships. In Tokyo he repeated the feat (11-6, 11-8, 11-9) to bring the engagement to a close.
Success for Chinese Taipei; at the same time there was success for the no.4 seeds, the Korea Republic trio of Jang Woojin, Jeoung Youngsik and Lee Sangsu in opposition to the no.6 seeds, the Brazilian combination of Vitor Ishiy, Eric Jouti and Gustavo Tsuboi. A 3-1 win was the end result, the one success for the South Americans being in the third match of the contest when Eric Jouti beat Lee Sangsu (11-7, 11-8, 5-11, 11-8).
Now does that pose a problem for Brazil when selection for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games is considered? At the recent Latin American Team Qualification staged in Lima, Brazil booked their place but Eric Jouti sat on the bench throughout; for each fixture the selection was Hugo Calderano, Gustavo Tsuboi and Vitor Ishiy.
Although not present at the ZEN-NOH 2019 Team World Cup, having won the men’s singles title at the Pan American Games, Hugo Calderano will undoubtedly lead Brazil in the team event but who do you select alongside him? Now 34 years old, Gustavo Tsuboi is the voice of experience but Vitor Ishiy, winner earlier this year at the Pan American Championships, alongside Eric Jouti have stated their cases. A mainstay for Brazil throughout this century, could Gustavo Tsuboi’s place be in danger?
In the penultimate round China faces Japan, Korea Republic confronts Chinese Taipei. The semi-finals of both the men’s and women’s events will be played on Saturday 1st November.