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Hong Kong Secures Top Spot, Austria Clinches Main Draw Place

Hong Kong Secures Top Spot, Austria Clinches Main Draw Place
Courtesy of ITTF

Both unbeaten after three days of action in the Women’s Championship Division at the Perfect 2016 World Team Championships in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; Hong Kong and Korea faced each other on the morning of Wednesday March 2nd.

However, with both guaranteed a place in the main draw, irrespective of the outcome, attention very much focused on who would secure third place; the top three teams in each of the four groups advanced to compete for the precious medals.

Austria faced Russia for the right to compete in the main draw. The outcome witnessed success for Hong Kong and for Austria.

Doo Hoi Kem 
Hong Kong, the no.4 seeds, duly prevailed as their status suggested, they recorded a three-one success, with Doo Hoi Kem being the player to attract the attention.

After losing her opening contest against the stylish defensive skills of Seo Hyowon in three straight games (11-7, 11-4, 11-9), it was a highly motivated and determined 19 year old who returned to the fray some three matches later.

Asserted Authority 
She beat Yang Haeun in four games (11-6, 11-8, 8-11, 11-1); Doo Hoi Kem is not the most demonstrative of characters, she is very placid but on the fourth day of play in the Malawati Stadium she let her feelings be known.

After losing the third game against Yang Haeun, she asserted herself mentally on proceedings.

Crucial Win 
Success for Doo Hoi Kem but arguably the pivotal contest was the second; Lee Ho Ching beat Yang Haeun in five games (11-7, 4-11, 9-11, 11-7, 11-8), a win that swayed the contest in favor of Hong Kong.

The experienced Jiang Huajun accounted for Park Youngsook, to set the scene for Doo Hoi Kem to conclude proceedings.

Polina Mikhailova Unbeaten 
A four match win for Hong Kong; for Austria it was a full distance success.

Polina Mikhailova accounted for both Liu Jia (11-5, 10-12, 11-5, 11-4) and Sofia Polcanova (11-6, 11-7, 11-7) but that was the sum total of Russian success.

Maria Dolgikh experienced defeat at the hands of Sofia Polcanova (11-6, 11-6, 12-10) and in vital fifth and deciding duel of the engagement when confronting Liu Jia (9-11, 11-9, 11-6, 12-10).

Remained Calm 
Perhaps wins as expected, arguably the crucial contest was the third in the fixture when Li Qiangbing, calm, cool and collected as always, accounted for Yana Noskova. She emerged successful in four games (9-11, 15-13, 3-11, 12-10).

“I think that Yana is better player than me, I knew her but I had never played against her”, said Li Qiangbing. “I knew that she was strong from the backhand, so throughout the match I focused my attention on playing towards the middle and the forehand.

United States Beats Sweden 
In the one remaining fixture in the group, the United States with Lily Zhang, Wang Chen and Zheng Jiaqi on duty recorded a three-nil win against the Swedish outfit formed by Daniela Moskovits, Linda Bergström and Jennifer Jonsson.

Final Positions 
Success for Hong Kong, Austria and the United States means that Hong Kong topped the group with a maximum 10 points followed by Korea (nine points), Austria (eight points), Russia (seven points), the United States (six points) and Sweden (five points).

Click here to view results, photos, videos and more from the World Team Table Tennis Championships.

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