Japan ousted, China ready for titles at TT worlds
Both China's male and female paddlers were ready for the final battles to lift the Swaythling Cup and Corbillon Cup, as they won the semifinals here on Saturday at the 50th table tennis team worlds, by beating rivals Japan, both in 3-0.
The Chinese men's trio of Ma Lin, Ma Long and Zhang Jike gave a breathtaking performance together with strong opponents, Japan's Jun Mizutani, Kaii Koshida and Seiya Kishikawa.
Ma Lin faced challenge from Kaii Yoshida in the first two games with a score of 1-1. In the third game, when the Japanese player began to establish advantage again, the Chinese head coach Liu Guoliang wisely called a time-out.
After the break, Ma Lin gave no comeback chance to his rival any more, claiming the victories in the third and fourth games.
Then came the contest between two top stars, the world number one player Ma Long and the Japanese number one Jun Mizutani.
Ma Long won three straight games with his powerful kills, while Zhang Jike subdued Seiya Kishikawa 3-1.
After the match, Liu Guoliang said he was satisfied with the play against Japan who has uprisen as one of China's close rivals.
"I have faith and confidence in my team and each player," he said. "Talking about the upcoming final match, I can't say who exactly will play. My choice depends on the opponent we will face tomorrow."
In another men team's contest between Germany and South Korea, 29-year-old Timo Boll crushed Ryu Seung Min and Oh Sang Eun both in straight games, paving the way for a 3-1 victory.
In the women's semifinal, China's Ding Ning suffered strong resistance from the "porcelain
doll" Ai Fukuhara, losing the first and second games.
Still, the young Chinese player restored calm and came back in the following games, turning the defeat into success finally.
Sayaka Hirano and Kasumi Ishikawa caused no trouble to world number one Liu Shiwen and number three Guo Yan.
Shi Zhihao, head coach of Chinese women's team, said the girls demonstrated the team power in the match, and Ding Ning didn't let him down.
Ai Fukuhara admitted that she started good in the match but failed to find the force to win.
"The main goal was to fight till the end. In general, I am satisfied with my game. I am not upset," the top Japanese women paddler said.
Chinese women will play the final on Sunday with Singapore, who conquered German women earlier.
Feng Tianwei, the Singaporean star, showed her talents and beat Wu Jiaduo in the opening encounter 3-0. Wang Yuegu then overcame Kristin Silbereisen with a score of 3-2. Sun Beibei sealed the final victory by outlasting Sabine Winter 3-0, sending the team to the final.
"It was a difficult match. I did my best as I always do, but maybe I should have risked more. Anyway, my team lost. Singapore is a very strong rival," remarked Kristin Silbereisen.
(Source from Xinhua)