The host nation alongside China, Korea Republic, Singapore and Hong Kong enjoyed a successful day on Monday 2nd August at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
In the men’s team event both China and Korea Republic booked semi-final places.
China, the top seeds, recorded a 3-0 success against France, the no.8 seeds but not without some moments of concern; in the second match of the fixture Fan Zhendong was extended the full seven games by Simon Gauzy (10-12, 12-10, 8-11, 11-5, 11-7)
Problems for Fan Zhendong, not for his colleagues. In the opening contest, Ma Long and Xu Xin overcame Alexandre Cassin and Emmanuel Lebesson (11-6, 11-5, 11-7). Later, Xu Xin accounted for Emmanuel Lebesson to conclude matters (11-8, 11-5, 11-6).
Success for China came after earlier in the day, Korea Republic, the no.4 seeds, had posted 3-0 win against Brazil, the no.6 seeds.
Jang Woojin extracted revenge for his fourth round men’s singles defeat when losing to Hugo Calderano in seven games (11-7, 9-11, 6-11, 11-9, 6-11, 11-5, 11-6); in the second match of the fixture, he defeated Hugo Calderano in straight games (11-6, 11-8, 12-10).
The result sealed Brazil’s fate. Jeoung Youngsik and Lee Sangsu had beaten Vitor Ishiy and Gustavo Tsuboi (11-6, 11-2, 12-10) to give Korea Republic the ideal start. Jeoung Youngsik concluded matters by overcoming Gustavo Tsuboi (11-6, 8-11, 11-4, 8-11, 11-7).
Impressive performances, it was the same at the start of the day in the opening round fixtures, quarter-final places being on offer.
Japan, the no.3 seeds, recorded a 3-0 success against Australia, the no.16 seeds.
Jun Mizutani and Koki Niwa beat Heming Hu and Chris Yan (11-7, 11-3, 11-8) to give Japan the perfect start. Tomokazu Harimoto accounted for David Powell (11-4, 11-9, 11-7), before Jun Mizutani overcame Chris Yan (11-4, 11-1, 11-9) to end matters.
No birthday presents
Meanwhile, in the first round of the women’s team event, Singapore, the no.6 seeds, proved too strong for France, the no.13 seeds; a 3-0 result the outcome.
Prithika Pavade, on her 17th birthday won the first two games against Feng Tianwei, before experience counted (8-11, 6-11, 11-3, 11-8, 11-3); the brave effort came after Lin Ye and Yu Mengyu had overcome
Stéphanie Loeuillette and Yuan Jia Nan in the doubles (11-6, 11-5, 13-11).
Yu Mengyu accounted for Yuan Ji Nan (11-8, 7-11, 11-5, 11-8) to conclude matters.
Closer than score line suggests
A 3-0 success for Singapore, the same for Korea Republic, the no.7 seeds against Poland, the no.11 seeds, in a much closer contest than the score line may suggest.
In the opening doubles Choi Hyojoo and Shin Yubin needed the full five games to overcome Natalia Bajor and Natalia Partyka (11-6, 12-10, 11-13, 4-11, 13-11). Similarly, in the contest that brought the fixture to a close Shin Yubin had to stave off a spirited recovery by Natalia Bajor (11-4, 11-7, 9-11, 8-11, 11-5).
Sandwiched in between, Jeon Jihee overcame Li Qian in straight games (11-4, 11-8, 11-3).
One round further
Quarter-final places booked, for Hong Kong and Japan it was one round further.
Doo Hoi Kem proved the mainstay of Hong Kong’s success. She beat Bernadette Szocs (11-5, 11-5, 11-6) and Daniela Monteiro Dodean (11-3, 11-2, 14-12) after Lee Ho Ching and Minnie Soo Wai Yam had experienced a narrow defeat when facing Daniela Monteiro Dodean and Elizabeta Samara (11-5, 5-11, 11-7, 6-11, 13-11).
Crucially, Lee Ho Ching overcame Elizabeta Samara in the third match of the engagement (11-9, 11-8, 12-10).
Progress for Hong Kong, for Japan, the no.3 seeds, facing Chinese Taipei, the no.7 seeds, it was progress in style; a 3-0 win the outcome.
Miu Hirano and Kasumi Ishikawa set the tone for the contest by overcoming Cheng Hsien-Tzu and Chen Szu-Yu (11-8, 11-6, 11-5) in the opening engagement. Mima Ito followed suit, she accounted for Cheng I-Ching to double the lead (11-2, 11-9, 11-8). Miu Hirano overcame Chen Szu-Yu (11-9, 7-11, 11-4, 11-4) to end matters.
Semi-finalists and finalist known
On Thursday 3rd August, in addition to the women’s team semi-final between Japan and Hong Kong, the quarter-finals of both men’s and women’s events will be concluded.
In the men’s competition Japan meets Sweden, Germany confronts Chinese Taipei; in the women’s event, Germany is also in action, they face Korea Republic, China opposes Singapore.
Editor: Ian Marshall
Photo Credit: ITTF