France succeeded against GermanyPhoto: ITTF
Perfect 2016 World Team Table Tennis Championships
Germany is going through agony at the big Championships again. Only few days before the start of the Perfect 2016 World Team Table Tennis Championships, Dimitrij OVTCHAROV was forced to withdraw. Timo BOLL missed the action in the opening game of the Group due the illness and tonight they suffered first defeat. France the no.9 seeds beat Silver medallists in Moscow, Dortmund and Tokyo; Germany, the no.2 seeds.
Simon GAUZY gave France dream start with the victory over Steffen MENGEL in five games. After straight games victory over Timo BOLL, Emmanuel LEBESSON confirmed French dominancy. Ruwen FILUS only managed to narrow the gap, before GAUZY also beat BOLL to seal the victory.
"I feel so proud, I have so much respect for Timo BOLL; for everything that he brings to table tennis and for all he has achieved in Europe", said Simon GAUZY. "I have to say that I think that was the very best match of my career; I just beat a legend."
Simon Gauzy was still coming to terms with his achievement and the fact that it is now eight years since Germany lost to a country other than China at a World Team Championships!
At the Evergrande Real Estate World Team Championships stage in Guangzhou in 2008, they suffered a quarter-final defeat; they were beaten by Korea. Furthermore turn the clock back to both 2004 in Doha and 2006 in Bremen; it was China who ended progress.
"Actually I played Timo last week in the German Bundesliga and won; I was two nil up and then lost the next two games before winning", added Simon Gauzy. "Today, Timo was not in the best of shape, he lost to Emmanuel in the second match; he was below his best."
Czech Republic recorded two wins in the Group Stage of the Men’s Event at the Perfect 2016 World Team Table Tennis Championships. They preserved the clean record tonight after toughest match so far - against Greece. Czechs team has been stretched to full distance, at some point players even lost their hope, but at the end, after three hours of fierce battle they prevailed.
In the morning hours, seeded no. 17 the team composed of Dmitrij PROKOPCOV, Lubomir JANCARIK and Tomas KONECNY create top upset by beating no. 10 seeds Chinese Taipei’s CHIANG Hung-Chieh, CHEN Chien-An and LIAO Cheng-Ting in straight matches.
In the afternoon they met Greece. Team that occupies seeding position no. 15 were wounded already; Greece was struggling in previous two rounds. They meet China yesterday and lost against Austria today.
“Dimitrij PROKOPCOV gave us good start with the victory over Kalinikos KREANAGA. He played really good. I could not repeat his success and I lost against Panagiotis GIONIS. After that Lubomir JANCARIK also suffered by the hands of Konstantinos PAPAGEORGIOU,” explained KONECNY.
Greek coach Konstantinos VATSAKLIS added some statistic to that chapter.
“So far PAPAGEORGIOU beat four different Czech’s player, all better ranked then himself. He proved as a player who knows how to play against them. We play against each other almost on every big Championship from Continental to World level and in last three times, before tonight, we were better. However, now things changed. Dmitrij had a very good start against KREANGA, KONECNY was on the top of his game and at the end KREANGA just run out of the steam in the decisive match.”
Match between Dimitrij and Panagiotis was a tense thriller.
“Dimitrij won the opening game by narrow margin, but then he started losing the match. At that point I thought we are done. I stopped believe we could win. Somehow, PROKOPCOV change the rhythm and he won. We were back in game.”
There are two more matches in the Group stage for Czech Republic – China tomorrow and Korea DPR.
“Our group is very tough. We did what we could do so far to stay in the game for the quarterfinal. I hope we can do something more, but it is going to be very difficult.”
Sweden with Jon PERSSON, Anton KÄLLBERG and Mattias KARLSSON beat the Malaysian trio of Leong CHEE Feng, Muhamada Ashraf HAIQAL and Muhd SHAKIRIN IBRAHIM by three matches to nil.
England represented by Paul DRINKHALL, Liam PITCHFORD and Samuel WALKER overcame the Danish trio of Jonathan GROTH, Tobias RASMUSSEN and Mikkel HINDERSSON by three matches to one.