In the other Level 3 Group A encounter, the Philippines won a thrilling 3-2 match over Sri Lanka. France (BWF home page: Careme Baptiste) and the Netherlands were comfortable winners over Austria (centre below; Elisabeth Baldauf) and Canada respectively (both Level 2 Group B). While France beat Austria 5-0, the Netherlands dropped one point against Canada, with Michelle Li beating Patty Stolzenbach 21-14 21-13.
The Philippines had to contend with the brothers Niluka and Dinuka Karunaratne of Sri Lanka. The player who made the difference for them was Gelita Castilo, who won both her doubles matches – the Mixed Doubles and Women’s Doubles. In the first match, she partnered Kennevic Asuncion (left) to win a nail-biting match over Dinuka Karunaratne/Ishadika Kavidi Sirimannage 21-16 17-21 21-19. Niluka Karunaratne brought Sri Lanka on level terms with a 21-19 21-7 win over Antonino Benjamin Gadi (Men’s Singles).
Maria Bianca Carlos put the Philippines ahead again by winning her Women’s Singles over Dona Lekha Shehani Hadunkuttihettige 21-16 21-15, but the Karunaratne brothers levelled the score with a quick 24-minute win over Antonino Benjamin Gadi/Kennevic Asuncion (Men’s Doubles). In the final match, Gelita Castilo/Ann Venice Alcala did not succumb to the pressure and took just 33 minutes to overcome Ishadika Kavidi Sirimannage/Purnima Oshadie Kuruppu 21-13 21-10 in Women’s Doubles.
Ukraine, who beat the Philippines 5-0 and Sri Lanka 4-1 in earlier group ties, sealed their victory after the first three matches. Valeriy Atrashchenkov gave them an early lead, winning his Men’s Singles against Ozturk Ramazan 21-18 21-16, before his compatriot Marija Ulitina took the Women’s Singles with a nearly identical win over Bayrak Ozge 21-18 21-15. Vitaly Konov/Dmytro Zavadsky clinched the tie with a 21-11 21-8 result in Men’s Doubles over Ozturk Ramazan/Lale Emre.
The Turks pulled one back in Women’s Doubles, when Bayrak Ozge/Yigit Neslihan earned a hard-fought 21-19 18-21 21-18 triumph over Mariya Diptan/Natalya Voytsekh, but Ukraine won the final match – Valeriy Atrashchenkov/Anna Kobceva taking just 14 minutes to dispose of Sen Murat/Yazgan Ebru 21-8 21-4 in Mixed Doubles.
* For Li-Ning BWF Sudirman Cup 2013 schedule and results, click here.