Korea Republic halted Portugal’s progressPhoto: Courtesy ITTF
Perfect 2016 World Team Championships in Kuala Lumpur
In the quarterfinal of the Men’s event at the Perfect 2016 World Team Championships in Kuala Lumpur, in epic battle, Portugal, the European champions from 2014 suffered by the hands of players from Korea Republic 3:1. Much closer then the results shows, Portugal pushed Korea to the limits, but failed to add World medal to their list of recent success.
Joao MONTEIRO currently listed at the position no 45, was defeated by LEE Sangsu, World’s no. 19. MONTEIRO lost two games by narrowest margin 1:3 (4:11, 13:11, 8:11, 10:12), but could not prevent LEE of giving Korea the dream start. Portugal’s no 1 and World’s no. 11, Marcos FREITAS faced JOO Saehyuk. Player who occupies position no. 16 in the World beat FREITAS (11:6, 11:8, 13:15, 11:3) and he used his defensive skills to overcame MONTEIRO in the fourth duel of the contest (11:5, 10:12, 12:14, 11:7, 11:9). The only point for Portugal recorded Tiago APOLONIA, who overcame JUNG Youngsik, no. 13 in the World, who won his first ITTF title last year at age of 24 (11:5, 12:10, 10:12, 11:6).
“I came into game after two nil in reverse. It was difficult moment, but I had to keep our hopes alive. I played very aggressive and cornered him. I think I was mentally stronger today,” said APOLONIA.
FREITAS simplify the event.
“They were just better today. We knew what to expect and we were ready but they outplayed us. Behind this result is very close game that started with completely open contest between MONTEIRO and LEE. It could go both sides. I was very unlucky in the second game, with two points that I lose unfortunately.” Said FREITAS.
After Tiago APOLONIA won his match and Joao was down 1:0 and 9:4 we saw another turning point.
“Joao was very calm, he controlled JOO Saehyuk’s game until the closing stage. At the end one or two balls made the difference."
In the semi final of the Women’s Championship Division China will meet Chinese Taipei, whilst Japan will play against Korea DPR.
Today, Chinese Taipei upset the seeding. The no.8 seeds, they beat Hong Kong, the no.4 seeds by three matches to two to reserve a place on the medal podium. Korea DPR, seeded no. 9 also exceeded their seeding position. In five matches they overcame no. 5 seeds Singapore.
Day earlier both European teams in the quarterfinal faced defeats. Japan prevailed against Germany, whilst China beat Netherlands.