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Other Events - 3 May 2014

Netherlands stretched hosts to the limit


After battle of epic proportions Japan overcame Netherlands in their duel for the semi final place. At the ZEN-NOH 2014 World Team Table Tennis Championship in packed Arena in Yoyogi Gymnasium host nation prevailed in five thrilling matches. “Now I am jus

After battle of epic proportions Japan overcame Netherlands in their duel for the semi final place. At the ZEN-NOH 2014 World Team Table Tennis Championship in packed Arena in Yoyogi Gymnasium host nation prevailed in five thrilling matches.

“Now I am just empty. I know that all is going to hit us hard tomorrow, when we realize how close we were to the title. On the other side, I cannot be more proud than I am now. I am proud of my girls; proud for the way they played; the team spirit they showed and desire they had. It was unbelievable duel and at the end team who had a little bit more luck won. They deserved it, just like we deserved, but it is only one who left the hall happy,” stated coach Elena TIMINA.

For a first time Britt EERLAND played at the position of second player. She opened the match with the duel against Sayaka HIRANO. “When we saw the draw, that was it. I just wanted to move Britt from the defender, so she was not on position no. three. I also knew that the impact of full hall, match against the host and so much responsibility for a first time on that position, would be enormous. I calculate everything, but this was the best solution, regarding the style of our adversaries. Britt did not play at the level she can, but she gave her best,” explained TIMINA.

EERLAND admitted: “I tried to prepare myself for what was coming. I thought I am ready, but unless you do not stand in the middle of that Arena, you do not know how it really is. It is fantastic experience. I learned so much from this and I learned so much from my team. I am so grateful and so sad that we missed this opportunity. We were so close.”

LI Jiao won both her match. First in line was Kasumi ISHIKAWA. “Jiao played like she is from another planet. It is almost inhuman. Only two days ago she was tired with the pain on every muscle. Today she lift her game up to the fantastic level,” said TIMINA.

LI Jie played against Yuka ISHIGAKI in expedite system. “If only this match could come in few months. Jie was year and a half absent and she is not back 100 percent. She was good, not question about that…but she was inpatient.”

Li Jiao beat HIRANO to bring Dutch team to decisive match. EERLAND played against ISHIKAWA. “After 2:2 and 3:0, their coach took time out. I warned Britt that ISHIKAWA will start to play very aggressive and that happened. ISHIKAWA showed different face, like great player and proved why she is no. nine in the World. However at the end only two small balls made a difference. That is why we are all so sad,” said TIMINA at the end. 

Milica NIKOLIC, EWT

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