Desperate disappointment the previous day when losing to Russia’s experienced Polina Mikhailova, the no.5 seed (11-8, 11-6, 9-11, 11-9, 7-11, 11-8). Thailand’s Suthasini Sawettabut kept her Tokyo hopes alive in Doha at the World Singles Olympic Games Qualification Tournament on Tuesday 16th March.
Occupying the no.3 seeded position in the draw she caused a minor upset by overcoming Ukraine’s Margaryta Pesotska, the no.2 seed, in five games (4-11, 11-9, 11-9, 11-8, 11-9).
The 26 year old, the strokes slightly shorter than her European adversary proved the more consistent player, the favourite in the rallies; focused and remaining calm, she kept the ball on the table in time honoured manner to gain success.
Notably it was her first ever meeting on the international stage against the Ukrainian, a situation that was marginally different from her encounter against the defensive skills of Polina Mikhailova.
Suthasini Sawettabut had met the Russian on one prior occasion at international level, coincidentally in Qatar. They drew swords in the second round of the women’s singles event at the 2016 ITTF World Tour Qatar Open; on that occasion Suthasini Sawettabut had succeeded in seven games (10-12, 11-7, 11-5, 9-11, 7-11, 11-8, 13-11) prior to losing to Singapore’s Feng Tianwei (9-11, 11-5, 11-3, 11-1, 11-4).
Susthasini Sawettabut now meets Spain’s Maria Xiao, the no.13 seed, to determine the remaining Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games women’s singles place. Maria Xiao reserved her place in the final courtesy of success in opposition to colleague Galia Dvorak, the no.16 seed (3-11, 4-11, 11-7, 11-9, 12-10, 11-3).
The final match will be played on Wednesday 17th March.
Editor: Ian Marshall