England’s brave men awarded with bronzePhoto: Courtesy ITTF
Perfect 2016 World Championships
In both finals of the Men’s and Women’s events at the Perfect 2016 World Championships in Kuala Lumpur top seeds China will meet Japan.
Surprise semifinalist England who were only newly promoted to the Championships Divisions, shocked the world's top teams en route to the semifinals to face off Japan. England is the only promoted team ever to gain a podium finish in the Championship Division.
The trio of Paul DRINKHALL, Liam PITCHFORD and Samuel WALKER played their best matches against the third seeded Japanese team. Jun MIZUTANI beat Paul Drinkhall (11-8, 11-9, 11-4); he was followed by Maharu YOSHIMURA who accounted for Liam PITCHFORD in a thrilling, close encounter. Sam Walker gave England hope by beating Yuya OSHIMA (11-6, 11-6, 8-11, 11-9). Jun MIZUTANI beat PICHFORD (8-11, 10-12, 11-7, 12-10, 11-6
In the match that WALKER described as a best match in his career he beat World’s no.20 Yuya OSHIMA to give England chance to return into the match after two null in reverse.
“I think OSHIMA was very nervous and I took advantage of it. On the other side I was not under pressure, so I played little bit relaxed. Latter he changed the tactic, but managed to regain the control,” said WALKER.
After furious start of the fourth match PITCHFORD was in the driving seat before he lost four match points.
China beat Korea. XU Xin gave China the perfect start by beating LEE Sangsu (8-11, 11-2, 11-7, 11-5); he was followed by MA Long who accounted for JUNG Youngsik (11-7, 11-5, 11-8) with ZHANG Jike overcoming Jang Woojin (7-11, 11-4, 11-9, 12-10) to end matters.
“I lost the first game but then advice from Liu Guoliang, my coach, support from my team mates and after winning the second I became more and more confident”, said XU Xin.
It is the 25th time since China first appeared in the World Championships in 1953 in Bucharest that they have reached the final of the Men’s Team event.
In the Malawati Stadium China reserved their place in the final of the Women’s Championship Division by emerging successful against Chinese Taipei 3:0. Taipei started proceedings at the no.8 seeds, at the quarter-final stage they beat Hong Kong, the no.4 seeds.
In the semis DING Ning beat CHEN Szu-Yu (11-6, 11-7, 11-4); LI Xiaoxia overcame CHENG I-Ching (11-9, 15-13, 11-2), before Zhu Yuling ended matters by beating CHENG Hsien-Tzu (11-7, 11-6, 11-2).
“I was very nervous before the match but once it started I relaxed and became confident”, said DING Ning. “The Chinese Team is very strong but it’s quite normal just to feel a little apprehensive before such a big match.”
It is the 25th time in 30 appearances that China has reached the final of the Women’s Team event at a World Championships.
Japan beat DPR Korea on Friday to book their place in the ultimate round.