2:10 am
11 Dec 2023

Ireland, France & South Africa Earn Last Eight Slots In Edmonton

27 Sep 2006

Ireland upset eighth seeds Hong Kong on the final day of qualifying action in the Lexus of Edmonton WSF Women's World Team Championship to join surprise quarter-finalists France and South Africa in the play-offs for the last eight positions in Edmonton, Canada.

After Laura Mylotte put Ireland, the ninth seeds, ahead with a 9-4, 9-2, 9-6 victory over Annie Au, Hong Kong drew level in the Pool A tie when Rebecca Chiu, the Asian Games champion, beat Madeline Perry in straight games.

Perry was less than 100% during the match. "I had food poisoning on Saturday and I've lost a bit of weight and was feeling weak," said the Irish number one. "I practiced this morning and felt okay but I just wasn't at full strength as it went on. Hopefully lots of food and a rest day will see me better prepared for my next match."

Irish eyes were smiling later, however, when Dublin-born Aisling Blake defeated Hong Kong's Christina Mak 9-4, 9-2, 10-8 in the decider to earn Ireland only their second top eight finish since 1990.

Favourites England cruised to their third successive 3/0 win, beating 16th seeds Austria in less than an hour of playing time to finish in pole position in Pool A.

France, the 10th seeds, consolidated their upset over hosts Canada, the seventh seeds, on the first day by beating 15th seeds Spain 3/0 to earn runners-up position in Pool B behind second seeds Egypt - thus denying Canada a place in the quarter-finals.

The biggest shock outcome took place in Pool D, where fourth seeds Netherlands beat defending champions Australia to consign the fifth seeds to a place in the play-offs for the 9th-16th places. The result will be Australia's first finish outside the top three in the 27-year history of the tournament!

Australia's gloom was countered by South Africa's glee after the 12th seeds followed up their earlier upset over Australia by beating Germany 2/1. In the absence of injured captain Claire Nitch, South Africans Tenille Swartz and Diana Argyle countered the loss by team-mate Karen van der Westhuizen by defeating Daniela Schumann and Katharina Witt, respectively, to clinch second place in Pool D - and a place in the last eight play-offs for the first time since 2000.

Final qualifying round - Pool A:
[1] ENGLAND bt [16] AUSTRIA 3-0
Alison Waters bt Theresa Gradnitzer 9-0, 9-0, 9-0 (13m)
Tania Bailey bt Pamela Pancis 9-4, 9-3, 9-4 (21m)
Jenny Duncalf bt Birgit Coufal 9-0, 9-0, 9-2 (18m)
[9] IRELAND bt [8] HONG KONG 2-1
Laura Mylotte bt Annie Au 9-4, 9-2, 9-6 (34m)
Madeline Perry lost to Rebecca Chiu 3-9, 4-9, 4-9 (22m)
Aisling Blake bt Christina Mak 9-4, 9-2, 10-8 (39m)
Final positions: 1 England, 2 Ireland, 3 Hong Kong, 4 Austria

Pool B:
[2] EGYPT bt [7] CANADA 2-1
Amnah El Trabolsy lost to Carolyn Russell 9-7, 5-9, 2-9, 0-9 (39m)
Omneya Abdel Kawy bt Runa Reta 9-6, 9-5, 9-2 (37m)
Engy Kheirallah bt Melanie Jans 9-3, 9-0, 9-3 (33m)
[10] FRANCE bt [15] SPAIN 3-0
Soraya Renai bt Laura Alonso 9-7, 9-1, 9-7 (31m)
Camille Serme bt Elisabet Sado 9-2, 9-3, 9-5 (25m)
Celia Allamargot bt Chantal Moros-Pitarch 1-9, 9-3, 9-4, 9-3 (43m)
Final positions: 1 Egypt, 2 France, 3 Canada, 4 Spain

Pool C:
[3] MALAYSIA bt [14] JAPAN 3-0
Tricia Chuah bt Kozue Onizawa 9-0, 10-9, 9-3 (34m)
Nicol David bt Mami Nishio 9-3, 9-2, 9-0 (27m)
Sharon Wee bt Sachiko Shinta 9-6, 10-8, 9-4 (35m)
[6] NEW ZEALAND bt [11] USA 3-0
Louise Crome bt Louisa Hall 9-1, 9-5, 9-6 (25m)
Shelley Kitchen bt Latasha Khan 9-5, 9-0, 9-6 (29m)
Jaclyn Hawkes bt Meredeth Quick 9-0, 9-4, 9-0 (21m)
Final positions: 1 Malaysia, 2 New Zealand, 3 USA, 4 Japan

Pool D:
Orla Noom bt Dianne Desira 9-6, 9-0, 9-6 (29m)
Vanessa Atkinson bt Kasey Brown 9-7, 9-5, 9-0 (30m)
Annelize Naude bt Melissa Martin 9-7, 9-5, 10-9 (43m)
[12] SOUTH AFRICA bt [13] GERMANY 2-1
Karen van der Westhuizen lost to Kathrin Rohrmueller 7-9, 7-9, 9-1, 7-9 (40m)
Tenille Swartz bt Daniela Schumann 9-1, 9-0, 10-8 (28m)
Diana Argyle bt Katharina Witt 5-9, 9-6, 9-4, 9-4 (34m)
Final positions: 1 Netherlands, 2 South Africa, 3 Australia, 4 Germany