China proved to strong for Great BritainPhoto: ITTF
2016 Rio Olympic Games
In the semi final of the Men's Teams Event, China will meet Republic of Korea. That is the outcome of today’s first part of the program in the Riocentro Pavilion 3 at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games.
In the quarterfinal top seeded China halted the progress of the World Championships’ bronze medalists. Great Britain failed to score against the favorites.
Coach LIU Guoliang praised his adversaries efforts: “The three members of the Great Britain team has been playing well this year, including the World Team Championships in Kuala Lumpur, and here at the Olympic Games, they have really surprised many with their performance.”
MA LONG beat Liam PICFFORD, XU Xin prevailed against Paul DRINKHALL and China’s pairings ZHANG Jike and XU Xin overcame Samuel WALKER and DRINKHALL. All three matches conculded in four games.
“Today, even though Ma Long and I both lost our first games, I think it was still an easy win for us, much easier than we had expected,” stated XU Xin. “The Great Britain team already made it to the Semifinals of the World Championships, and almost made it through to the Final, so it may seem to everyone that they are the dark horse. But for us, we are already prepared for a tough match against them. We watch their match footages to study them for hours last night to get ready for this match. I think they are also a strong team, one of the top teams in Europe now, and they even defeated Germany at the World Championships group stage.”
MA Long added:“They have improved a lot and grew strong over the past two years to make the top four at the World Championships. I had a tough match against PITCHFORD, losing the first game and having to come back from 7-9 in the next. As the first player, I wanted too much to win the first match for our team. But because I had pressure, and that I’m not familiar with him, I lost the first game easily, and after that, I was tense throughout the rest of the match.”
Liam PITCHFORD had his chances, but MA responeded the challenge.
“I think we surprised them, I had a plan to follow, I won the first game against Ma Long and then I had 9-7 in the third and fourth but I couldn’t make it count; he responded, that’s why he is Olympic and World champion.”
Still the European team maintained high level of play.
“I think since Japan 2014 we are all now much more consistent as individuals; we wanted to win, we gave our best, it’s been a great tournament,” said Paul DRINKHALL.
Republic of Korea beat Sweden. Kristian KARLSSON suffered by the hands of JOO Saehyuk in the opening duel, but Mattias KARLSSON beat LEE Sangsu in next. Doubles brought another point to Korea’s account. JEOUNG sealed the match with the victory over Kristian.