A full distance men’s team contest lasting over two and half hours was very much the fixture at the centre of attention at the 2021 ITTF-ATTU Asian Championships in Doha on the morning of Tuesday 28th September.
Competing in the first division, eventually, Kyrgyzstan overcame Kuwait.
Mixed fortunes for Kuwait's Marzooq Alrashidi
Backbone of the victory was Talgat Sagyndkov; he accounted for both Mansour Al-Enezy (11-4, 11-4, 9-11, 11-5) and Marzooq Alrashidi (10-12, 8-11, 14-12, 11-5, 15-13).
Hero of the hour was Akylbek Kasymov, in the vital concluding match of the fixture, he accounted for Mansour Al-Enezy.
The wins for Kuwait were recorded by Marzooq Alrashidi against Akylbek Kasymov (9-11, 12-10, 11-8, 11-13, 11-9) and by Jaber Al-Balhan in opposition to Atai Kasymov (11-4, 11-4, 11-4).
Otherwise as fixtures in the first division progressed, the highest rated teams in the respective groups, required to lay racket on ball, recorded 3-0 wins.
Saudi Arabia (Ali Alkhadrawi, Naif Al-Jadai, Abdulaziz Bu Shulaybi) accounted for Qatar (Mohammed Abdulwahhab, Ahmed Al Mohannadi, Fahed Almughanne), Bahrain (Rashed Rashed, Mohamed Saleh, Salman Mohamed Abuhamda) overcame Oman (Haitham Al-Mandhari, Asad Alraisi, Muhanned Al-Balushi).
Likewise, Uzbekistan (Zokhid Kenjaev, Abdulaziz Anorboev, Mukhammad Uktamboev) defeated Tajikistan (Zokhiri Dzhaul, Ubaydullo Sultonov, Jamshed Ismoilov), Kazakhstan (Kirill Gerassimenko, Alan Kurmangaliev, Aidos Kenzhigulov) prevailed against Iraq (Ameer Al-Nuaimi, Answer Hameed, Zhiar Mohammed).
Meanwhile, in the women’s team event, the outfit to catch the eye as play began was Jordan.
The no.16 seeds, the trio comprising Taimma Abo Yaman, Bara Al-Wedian and Yara Aldmaisy recorded a 3-1 win in opposition to the no.14 seeds, the Nepal outfit formed by Elina Maharjan, Sikka Suwal and Evana Thapa.
Teams finishing in first place in each group in both the men’s team and women’s team events, advance to the preliminary round, the winners and runners up from the preliminary round gain main draw places.
Editor: Ian Marshall