Hong Kong recovered from an early setback against Netherlands to be crowned Group 2 champions at the Vivo BWF Sudirman Cup yesterday.
The other group winners were Vietnam over Czech Republic (Group 3) and Philippines over Sri Lanka (Group 4). Turkey beat Switzerland to take fifth spot in Group 3, while South Africa overcame Italy 3-1 to take seventh spot in the same group.
Jacco Arends and Jelle Maas gave Netherlands the perfect start with a 33-minute win over Tang Chun Man/Or Chin Chung, 21-17 21-17.
Soraya De Visch Eijbergen had helped Netherlands beat Singapore in sub-group 2A by surprising Chen Jiayuan in Women’s Singles. Eijbergen had her chances against Cheung Ngan Yi but the Hong Kong player stayed strong on the critical points to emerge victorious, 21-14 21-18.
With Ng Ka Long beating Mark Caljouw in Men’s Singles, it was up to the in-form Women’s Doubles pair of Selena Piek/Eefje Muskens to save the day for Netherlands. The Dutch took the lead against seasoned Hong Kong pair Poon Lok Yan/Tse Ying Suet (above) and had almost closed the issue as they held two match points, but Poon/Tse fought back from the brink to force a third game, which they won, 18-21 22-20 21-17, helping Hong Kong top the group.
Vietnam were comfortable winners of Group 3. The only trouble they faced was in the opening Mixed Doubles. Jakub Bitman/Alzbeta Basova proved doughty opponents to Duong Bao Duc/Thai Thi Hong Gam, but the Vietnamese prevailed 16-21 21-19 21-15.
It was smooth sailing from then on for Vietnam. Experienced campaigner Nguyen Tien Minh (left) dismissed Petr Koukal 21-6 21-12 (Men’s Singles) before Vu Thi Trang won a similar one-sided contest over Zuzana Pavelkova in Women’s Singles, 21-12 21-12.
Philippines emerged on top of Group 4 with a 3-0 rout of Sri Lanka. Frell Keeyann Gabuelo gave Philippines the lead in Men’s Singles over Nimmika Thisara, 15-21 21-8 21-6. Airah Mae Nicole Albo (below) made it 2-0 in Women’s Singles over Achininimeshika Rathnasiri Kapuru Mudiyanselage. Peter Gabriel Magnaye/Paul Jefferson Vivas completed the rout beating Mestiyage Don Dilina Gunatilleke/Nimika Thisara 21-9 21-9 in Men’s Doubles.
For the day’s results, click here.