Asia wins Asia – Europe Challenge 7:3 in Nantong
The 13th edition of Asia – Europe Challenge, held in the city located in Jiangsu province in eastern China, concluded today (August 5th)
The 13th edition of Asia – Europe Challenge belonged to Asian side who won 7:3 in the two days event concluded today, August 5th, in the Chinese city of Nantong. The opponents entered the second day with 4:1 advantage in favor of the host team. Bastian STEGER and Vladimir SAMSONOV were the winners for the Old Continent today, while their teammates again lost two matches by a narrow margin like day before.
It was Asian second consecutive win, after 6:4 in Dongguean two years ago. Europe made history in 2015 Zhangjiagang, recording its very first victory on Asian soil, 6:4.
Koki NIWA vs. Bastian STEGER 1:3
Second day begun by Bastian STEGER victory against Koki NIWA 3:1 (11:8, 8:11, 11:9, 11:7). It was excellent performance of German player in the clash with many fast strokes. The 2012 European Championships bronze medalist did an important move to the win in late third set, reversing the score from 8:9 to 11:9. Astonishing rally was seen in the mid of third set, taken by European player who controlled the fourth game from the beginning.
"This is the team event between Asia and Europe. I am very happy that our team won. There are many experienced and good players here. Through this time, I got to know how they practice and learn from them", stated NIWA after the event in Nantong.
ZHANG Jike vs. Jonathan GROTH 3:2
The 25-year-old GROTH showed how big potential he has, extending former Olympic and World champion to full distance - 3:2 (8:11, 11:8, 9:11, 11:6, 11:7). Left-hander from Denmark led twice, but ZHANG played his best table tennis in last two games. GROTH won four consecutive points (6:6, 10:6) to secure the opening game, continuing his lead until the mid of second set when ZNAHG took five points in a row (4:7, 9:7).After third set, when he got few amazing rallies, European had no energy to prevent host to set 5:2 lead for Asia. The winner was decided after ZHANG`s four points in a row (9:5) in the fifth game.
Former Olympic and World champion ZHANG Jike was satisfied how everything went in Nantong:
"I am very happy to help team to win this tournament. Everyone in our team should be recognized, including the coach, the team manager and the players. This is my third time to attend Asia-European Challenge. In the national team, we represent our own country. But now here, we are the Team Asia and Team European. Every one fight hard on the court. We played out our best."
LEE Sangsu vs. Kristian KARLSSON 3:0
Korean player, the best ranked one at the event in Nantong, managed to recover after yesterday`s defeat by Portugal`s Marcos FREITAS. He beat Kristian KARLSSON in straight games 3:0 (11:5, 14:12, 11:4). LEE easily won first and third game, while Swede missed two game points in the second one. This victory of Korean has sealed Asia`s win in the city located in Jiangsu province in eastern China.
LEE debuted at the Asia - Europe Challenge and hope he`ll be back in the future:
"I got 1 win and 1 lost here. I am very satisfied with my performance. This is my first time to attend Asia-European challenge. I am very pleased to be here.Of course this is a wonderful event with many world top players. I learnt a lot through this opportunity. I will keep improving in the future."
WONG Chun Ting vs. Marcos FREITAS 3:2
Portugal`s player extended World No. 10 to full distance, preventing one match point in the ultimate game, but WONG was the winner, 3:2 (11:4, 12:10, 2:11, 7:11, 12:10). FREITAS, unique winner for European side in the opening day, allowed Hong Kong`s player 2-0 lead, in spite of having three game points in late second game (10:7). WONG controlled the fifth set by his penhold style, having 6:2 and 9:6, but FREITAS leveled the score with two quick rallies.
CHUANG Chih-Yuan vs. Vladimir SAMSONOV 0:3
Vladimir SAMSONOV beat CHUANG Chih-Yuan in straight games, 3:0 (11:8, 12:10, 11:7). Both opponents played for the spectators their meeting, especially after the close second game, concluded by four consecutive points (7:9, 11:9) of Belarus.
The 2018 Asia – Europe Challenge
Asia - Europe 7:3
Sunday 5th August
Asia - Europe 3:2
Koki NIWA vs. Bastian STEGER 1:3 (8:11, 11:8, 9:11, 7:11)
ZHANG Jike vs. Jonathan GROTH 3:2 (8:11, 11:8, 9:11, 11:6, 11:7).
LEE Sangsu vs. Kristian KARLSSON 3:0 (11:5, 14:12, 11:4)
WONG Chun Ting vs. Marcos FREITAS 3:2 (11:4, 12:10, 2:11, 7:11, 12:10)
CHUANG Chih-Yuan vs. Vladimir SAMSONOV 0:3 (8:11, 10:12, 7:11)
Saturday 4th August
Asia - Europe 4:1
Koki NIWA vs. Vladimir SAMSONOV 3:2 (11:4, 11:8, 9:11, 6:11, 11:9)
CHUANG Chih-Yuan vs. Jonathan GROTH 3:2 (14:12, 11:9, 7:11, 9:11, 11:6)
WONG Chun Ting vs. Kristian KARLSSON 3:0 (14:12, 11:4, 11:7)
LEE Sangsu vs. Marcos FREITAS 1:3 (9:11, 12:10, 7:11, 9:11)
ZHANG Jike vs. Bastian STEGER 3:0 (11:2, 11:4, 14:12)
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