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Favourites negotiate mixed doubles opening round

Saturday 24 July

Play commencing in the mixed doubles event at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games on Saturday 24th July, the principal pairs asserted their authority on proceedings.

China’s Xu Xin and Liu Shiwen, the top seeds, emerged successful but took time to settle. They recovered from an opening round deficit to beat Canada’s Wang Zhen and Zhang Mo, the no.15 seeds (9-11, 11-8, 11-7, 11-8, 11-6).

A spirited effort from the Canadians, who both hail from Shijiazhuang, some two hours by rail from Beijing West railway station.

Spare a thought for the well intentioned Wang Zhen, better known as Eugene Wang. At the North American Olympic Qualification tournament, he won the men’s singles beating Jeremy Hazin in the final. However, now 35 years old, he decided to forgo the Tokyo place and give it to the younger player, Jeremy Hazin, 21 years of age.

One thought was that partnering Zhang Mo, they had a good chance of reaching the latter stage. It was a tough draw!

Success for Xu Xin and Liu Shiwen, it was the same for the host nation’s Jun Mizutani and Mima Ito, the no.2 seeds; they beat Austria’s Stefan Fegerl and Sofia Polcanova, the no.10 seeds (11-5, 8-11, 11-9, 11-4, 11-4).

Likewise, Chinese Taipei’s Lin Yun-Ju and Cheng I-Ching, the no.3 seeds, accounted for India’s Sharath Kamal Achanta and Manika Batra, the no.12 seeds (11-8, 11-6, 11-5, 11-4); Hong Kong Kong’s Wong Chun Ting and Doo Hoi Kem, the no.4 seeds, ended the hopes of Hungary’s Adam Szudi and Szandra Pergel, the no.11 seeds (11-6, 11-3, 11-5, 11-9).

Progress for China, Chinese Taipei, Hong Kong and Japan; it was the very same for the Korea Republic; Lee Sangsu and Jeon Jihee beat Egypt’s Omar Assar and Dina Meshref, the no.14 seeds (9-11, 11-3, 11-5, 11-7, 11-8).

The quarter and semi-finals of the mixed doubles event will be played on Sunday 25th July.

Mixed doubles: quarter-finals

  • Xu Xin / Liu Shiwen (CHN) v Ovidiu Ionescu / Bernadette Szocs (ROU)
  • Wong Chun Ting / Doo Hoi Kem (HKG) v Emmanuel Lebesson / Yuan Jianan (FRA)
  • Lin Yun-Ju / Cheng I-Ching (TPE) v Lee Sangsu / Jeon Jihee (KOR)
  • Jun Mizutani / Mima Ito (JPN) v Patrick Franziska / Petrissa Solja (GER)

Editor: Ian Marshall

Photo Credit: ITTF

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