YOSHIMURA and ISHIKAWA crowned Mixed Doubles ChampionsPhoto: Henk HOMMES
LIEBHERR 2017 World Championships
Japan's Maharu YOSHIMURA and Kasumi ISHIKAWA are the newly crowned Mixed Doubles champions. They clinched the title at the LIEBHERR 2017 World Championships in Dusseldorf after thrilling seven games duel against CHEN Chien-An and CHENG I-Ching (8-11, 8-11, 11-8, 10-12, 11-4, 11-9, 11-5).
Japan's combination was down three games to one, but they fought they way back. They showed mental strenght to overcame great gap.
“I think that happened because we lost in the past, and we have practiced very hard to reach this goal now,” said Kasumi ISHIKAWA. “We’ve played together since we were very young. That’s why we understand each other. We are very good friends and we speak about personal things to each other. We encourage each other.
Maharu Yoshimura: “Kasumi encouraged me. She told me lets go, let try this or that, and let’s go for the gold.”
Ishikawa answered on possibility of having mixed doubles at Tokyo 2020: “I’m very glad that mixed doubles was getting attention here, and of course if there is mixed doubles at Tokyo 2020 then I will go for it.”
CHEN Chien-An said: “Our rhythm was very good at first but we were not able to keep up. It was mostly a failure in rhythm.”
It took 46 year for Germany to reach the medal rostrum in the Mixed Doubles Event at the World Championships after great success of Eberhard and Diane SCHOLER in 1971.
Unfortunately, after very good start of the semi final, the pendulum swung and Japan's combination of Maharu YOSHIMURA and Kasumi ISHIKAWA succeded (11-13, 12-14, 11-5, 6-11, 11-5, 11-7, 11-5).
"I'm not disappointed," said Petrissa SOLJA immediately after the semi-finals. "I only can not forgive myself the fact that we have not seized the opportunity at 3:1 advantage. The German fans are always cheering and just love watching table tennis. And we also had China supporting us. The atmosphere here is great; I wanted to play in the final so much."
Coach Jie SCHOPP explained what happened: ”FANG played a little under pressure and that is why SOLJA become nervous.”
In other semi final CHEN Chien-An and CHENG I-Ching overcame WONG Chun Ting and DOO Hoi Kem of Hong Kong (11-7, 5-11, 11-5, 11-6, 5-11, 5-11, 11-9).