Germany will play for bronze in the Men's Team EventPhoto: ITTF
Japan, the no.4 seeds, with Jun MIZUTANI, Koki NIWA and Maharu YOSHIMURA upset the order of merit to beat the German outfit comprising Timo BOLL, Dimitrij OVTCHAROV and Bastian STEGER, the no.2 seeds, in the semi final of the Men's Team Event at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games - 3-1.
Maharu YOSHIMURA faced Men’s Team silver medallist in Beijing and bronze medallist in Men’s Team and Men’s Singles in London, 27 year old Dimitrij OVTCHAROV in the opening duel of the contest. OVTCHAROV emerged successful to record a straight games victory (11-8, 11-3, 11-3).
German coach Jörg ROSSKOPF explained:
“We expected Maharu YOSHIMURA to play first, it was no surprise; a turning point came in the match between Timo and Jun. Timo led 7-2 in the first game and lost, from then on Jun played fantastically. He was much better playing short, short and that meant he could make the opening and put pressure on Timo. Today Jun played incredibly well, he is playing the best of his life.”
In next match, Jun MIZUTANI, who he had won bronze in the Men’s Singles event faced Timo BOLL and won in straight games games (11-9, 11-6, 12-10). The doubles duel concluded in similar vain. Timo BOLL and Bastian STEGER suffered by the hands of Maharu YOSHIMURA and Koki NIWA in four games (11-6, 13-15, 11-4, 11-5).
“Sure we knew the doubles was not in our favour but the defeats against Chinese Taipei and Austria had been very close so I decided not to change. We had a little chance but we were well aware that we had to win the singles matches,” said Jörg ROSSKOPF.
Jun Mizutani won a three straight games (11-5, 11-4, 11-4) against STEGER to help Japan win a first ever medal in the Men’s Team event in the table tennis competitions at an Olympi Games was assured,
Japan advances to the final, Germany to the bronze medal match; both contests will be played on Wednesday 17th August; the former at 11.00am, the latter at 7.30pm.
“Japan played well, congratulations to them. Now we focus on the Bronze medal,” added Jörg ROSSKOPF.