Romania, Poland, Hungary and Austria booked tickets for TokyoPhoto: Rémy Gros ITTF
2020 ITTF World Team Qualification Tournament
On the third day of the play in the Multiusos de Gondomar in Portugal in the Women’s Teams Event at the 2020 ITTF World Team Qualification Tournament, Poland, Hungary, Romania, Austria, DPR Korea, Singapore, Hong Kong China and Chinse Taipei booked their place for the Olympic Games in Tokyo. Ukraine, Netherlands, Portugal, France and Belarus have another chance to gain one remaining place that awaits the winner of the second stage.
Romania was under severe pressure today against India. Daniela MONTEIRO DODEAN and Elizabeta SAMARA defeated Sutirtha MUKHERJEE and Ayhika MUKHERJEE 3-2 in the opening match but Bernadette SZOCS suffered defeats by the hands of Manika BATRA and Sutirtha MUKHERJEE in her singles duels. SAMARA beat 3-1 Ayhika MUKHERJEE before MONTEIRO DODEAN overcame BATRA in the decisive match to seal this nerves wracking match.
“Our double is still solid, even if we had some difficulties. We have been playing since we were 13 years old, so we know how to win. I think the doubles were really the most important," explained SAMARA.
Daniela MONTEIRO DODEAN added: "These players have the rackets really different from what we usually practice. It was really hard at first, but then we got into the game and it got a lot better. Lately, my ranking has been getting lower and lower, but when my team needs me I could give them the point, so I just felt really satisfied."
Austria's LIU Jia with the win in doubles and singles match lead Austria to victory over Spain. Sofia POLCANOVA added another point in singles to the score line. Team France was unable to progress, they lost to Chinese Taipei and Belarus suffered against Hong Kong China.
Hungary the no.7 seeds succeeded against Portugal, the no.13 seeds without their leading player Georgina POTA. Dora MADARASZ took the leading role and overcame FU Yu and LUO Xue. Previously, Maria FAZEKAS and Szandra PERGEL had beaten LUO Xue and SHAO Jieni to secure a good start for Hungary.
"Honestly I still can't believe we could qualify, it's just amazing. When the draw came out it was one of the worst draws, Portugal. We tried our best and after the double I felt a little bit better, we were leading. It's like a miracle, I still can't believe. We won this qualification without Pota and thanks to her we were seeded number 7. In the second game I was up 8-3 (or something) and I lost my concentration, I tried to focus on my receive. I didn't want to think about the Olympics, I just wanted to win and I did it! In the last game, 10-7 I thought, ok this is the match ball for the Olympics, " explained Dora MADARASZ.
Poland, the no.8 seeds beat Ukraine, the no.9 seeds. Reigning European champion Li Qian beat both Margaryta PESOTSKA and Tetyana BILENKO to underline her status. Natalia PARTYKA overcame Ganna GAPONOVA and for the fourth consecutive occasion, PARTYKA has qualified for both the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games.
"After the first game, I knew that I wanted to play the expedite system because it would be easier for me to win against BILENKO with this system," said LI Qian.
In the second stage Ukraine will meet Korea, Netherlands will meet Portugal, France will play against India and Belarus will face Spain.