Portugal on their way to first ever medal at WCPhoto: Courtesy of ITTF
Perfect 2016 World Team Table Tennis Championships
Portugal is getting closer to another millstone. In the Round of 16 of the Men’s Event at the Perfect 2016 World Team Table Tennis Championships in Kuala Lumpur, European Champions from 2014, beat Korea DPR to reach the quarters. They needed only three matches.
“We came here this morning with the heavy burden of two defeats in previous two rounds. After we lost matches against Japan and Poland we were very disappointed, but we never stopped believing. Our goal is to reach the medal rostrum and we are now on good way to achieve that goal and to bring first ever medal from the World Championships home,” said Marcos FREITAS.
Joao MONTEIRO opened the match with the long distance win over PAK Sin Hyok.
“I was 1:2 down and 5:9 in reverse in the third game. However, after 1:1 I had a chance to take the lead at 9:7, but I lost. I did not give up. I kept on fighting. I changed the tactics; I started to receive better and I gave up of playing short-short balls . After the first short ball, I tried to open the game to go or point with long rallies,” explained MONTEIRO.
Tomorrow they will meet Korea Republic.
“It will be another difficult match, but I think it will be easier then today. We played against them before and we will be ready.”
Marcos FREITAS was also forced to come from behind against CHOE Il.
“The main problem was the fact that we do not know them. On top of all, only after midnight we learned against whom we are going to play. We had not time to study our adversaries or to prepare the tactics accordingly. I came to play knowing nothing. I needed some time to see what is CHOE’s style. Literally, I used two opening games to see what to play. I had to feel his weakness. I experimented with his forehand and backhand… Although he was in the lead I did not feel uncomfortable. I got the feeling I was in the control. I was on the top of the game. “
After straight matches victory FREITAS underlined the fact they have more time for rest.
“Another thing that works in our favor is the fact that we know the players from South Korea. It will ease us the job greatly.”
Tiago APOLONIA praised his teammate’s efforts.
“After Marcos and Joao had been down in both matches and recovered to win, the whole team of Korea was under severe pressure. They were so disappointed after all their efforts ended in vain. KANG Wi Hun is one of the fastest player on circuit, but he did not have a chance today.”