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China marches forward in style, Japan narrowly beaten

Thursday 05 August

Dominant performances, China progressed to final of both the men’s team and women’s team events at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games on Wednesday 4th July; in the men’s team final they meet Germany, in the women’s it is Japan; the hosts having reserved their place the previous day.

In the men’s team semi-final contest, China, the top seeds, recorded a 3-0 penultimate round win against Korea Republic, the no.4 seeds.

China retained the doubles partnership of earlier rounds, Ma Long and Xu Xin; they joined forces to beat Jeoung Youngsik and Lee Sangsu in straight games (11-5, 11-5, 11-8).

Fan Zhendong followed suit, he overcame Jan Woojin to double the advantage (11-7, 11-9, 16-14).

Straight games wins in the opening matches, in the third life was more exacting for Ma Long, he had to stave off a spirited recovery by Lee Sangsu, eventually winning in five games (11-9, 11-8, 9-11, 13-15, 11-6).

Impressive from the Chinese men, it was the same from the women; also, the top seeds, they recorded any equally emphatic win in opposition to Germany, the no.3 seeds,

Chen Meng partnered Wang Manyu to doubles success in the opening contest against Shan Xiaona and Petrissa Solja (11-9, 11-2, 11-4). In a similar vein, Sun Yingsha overcame the defensive skills of Han Ying (11-6, 11-4, 11-9), before Chen Meng returned to the table to face Petrissa Solja. She recovered from an opening game deficit to conclude matters (5-11, 11-4, 11-9, 13-11).

Success for China, agonising defeat for Japan, the no.3 seeds, they experienced a 3-2 reverse at the hands of Germany, the no.2 seeds.

Jun Mizutani and Koki Niwa lost to Timo Boll and Patrick Franziska (11-2, 11-3, 9-11, 8-11, 11-7).

Two wins from Tomokazu Harimoto but not enough to save Japan from defeat

Immediately following, Tomokazu Harimoto beat Dimitrij Ovtcharov to level matters (7-11, 13-11, 11-5, 11-9); before Timo Boll accounted for Jun Mizutani (7-11, 13-11, 11-7, 11-7) to restore the German lead.

Determined, Tomokazu Harimoto recovered from a two games to nil deficit to beat Patrick Franziska in a tension packed contest to level proceedings (5-11, 9-11, 11-5, 11-9, 11-9).

Matters level, just as the previous day, when at the same stage he had beaten Chuang Chih-Yuan in the contest against Chinese Taipei, the onus was on Dimitrij Ovtcharov. He performed a second repeat act.

In the fourth round of the men’s singles he had beaten Koki Niwa, he did the same again to guide Germany to the final. He prevailed in straight games (11-9, 11-7, 11-8).

The medal fixtures are now known.

Thursday 5th August
Women’s Team – bronze: Germany (3) versus Hong Kong China (4)
Women’s Team – gold: China (1) versus Japan (2)

Friday 6th August
Men’s Team – bronze: Japan (3) versus Korea Republic (4)
Men’s Team – gold: China (1) versus Germany (2)

Editor: Ian Marshall

Photo Credit: ITTF

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