Europe leads 3:2 after Day 1Photo: Courtesy ITTF
Robert GARDOS, Vladimir SAMSONOV and Andrej GACINA provided three points for the Old Continent on the 2015 Euro-Asia All Stars Challenge
Europe leads after Day 1 on the 2015 Euro-Asia All Stars Challenge in the Jiang Su Gymnasium in the City of Zhangjiagang, China. Robert GARDOS, Vladimir SAMSONOV and Andrej GACINA secured three points for the Old Continent, whilst actual World champion MA Long and the semi-finalist of the 2012 Olympic Games, CHUANG Chih-Yuan were successful in Asian side.
World`s no. 14 CHUANG Chih Yuan brought early lead to the host side, beating no. 26 Bastian STEGER in four games. The latest set was fully exciting, but German didn`t manage to provide one more set. These two players met also in the opening day of the 2014 Asia-Euro All Stars Challenge, as CHUANG prevailed in straight games.
Robert GARDOS repeated what he did last year in Zhangjiagang, when he overcame GAO Ning in straight sets. The final outcome is almost same: in 2014 GARDOS won 3:0 (11:6, 11:6, 11:8), now 3:0 (11:6, 11:6, 11:9). Austrian, bronze medalist from 2008 European Championships, confirmed that he know how to play against former Asian Cup winner from Singapore.
Actual World champion and no. 1 on the ITTF World Ranking List, MA Long was too strong for the current European team`s champion from Portugal, Marcos FREITAS. Chinese confirmed spectators` expectations in the Jiang Su Gymnasium, winning in straight games.
Three times individual champion of Old Continent, Vladimir SAMSONOV defeated Hong Kong player TANG Peng to level the score. Byelorussian needed four sets against quarter-finalist of the QOROS 2015 World Championships in Suzhou.
Finally, Andrej GACINA prevailed against Iranian Noshad ALAMIYAN in four games. They played close game in the first two sets, but Croat easily took next two to secure 3:2 lead for Europeans after Day 1.
Day 1, August 1st
Asia – Europe 1:0, CHUANG Chih Yuan – Bastian STEGER 3:1 (11:3, 4:11, 11:9, 13:11)
Asia – Europe 1:1, GAO Ning – Robert GARDOS 0:3 (6:11, 6:11, 9:11)
Asia – Europe 2:1, MA Long – Marcos FREITAS 3:0 (11:7, 11:4, 11:7)
Asia – Europe 2:2, TANG Peng – Vladimir SAMSONOV 1:3 (8:11, 9:11, 11:8, 6:11)
Asia – Europe 2:3, Noshad ALAMIYAN – Andrej GACINA 1:3 (9:11, 12:10, 5:11, 4:11)