The Irish Men’s Team of Gavin Maguire and Ashley Robinson have bowed out at the opening stages of the QOROS 2015 World Championships in Suzhou, China following some hard battles over the past two days. Despite the tough draws they were faced with, chances were aplenty, as Maguire in particular put up strong resistance before succumbing to quality opposition from Singapore and North Korea. In his opening match against PANG Xue Jie of Singapore, the UCD man once led 3-2 before eventually going down in seven gruelling sets. His next match was against North Korean CHOE Il, and despite some flashes of brilliance from the Irish Number 2 player, the Korean was that bit too strong as he ran out a 4-1 winner.
Robinson was also faced with a tough group, and in his opening match he faced HMAM Adem of Tunisia. After taking the Opening game 11-3, it looked as if he could push on towards the winning post but the Tunisian struck back to take three extremely tight games on the spin before eventually sealing the match 4-1, which in truth was perhaps an unfair reflection on just how close an encounter it was. In Ashleys second match, he faced top 200 player ALTO Gaston of Argentina. Despite competing from the start, he could never get the foothold he needed to mount a real challenge as he fell in 4 straight games.
This was another invaluable experience here for the Irish Team, and they will no doubt come back stronger as attention now turns to the Senior European Team Championships in Russia in October.
To stay in touch with all of the latest as the World Championships continue in Suzhou, be sure to keep an eye on the ITTF website for full coverage as all the action unfolds.