Wang Hao beat Ryu Seung Min in the second match of the fixture
Photo By: Rémy Gros
LIEBHERR 2012 World Team Table Tennis Championships
Commanding performances en route to the semi-finals; China continued their progress in an authoritative manner, to reach the final by overcoming Korea on the evening of Saturday 31st March 2012 in the Menís event at the LIEBHERR World Team Championships in Dortmund.
They recorded the same score line as in every match leading to the penultimate stage; the trio of Ma Long, Wang Hao and Zhang Jike recorded a three-nil success over the Korean outfit comprising Oh Sang Eun, Ryu Seung Min and Kim Min Seok.
Video Interviews: Ma Long and Kim Min Seok
Ma Long gave China the start required by overcoming Oh Sang Eun in three straight games (11-2, 11-7, 12-10).
The power of the right hander proved too great for the controlled blocking skills of Oh Sang Eun. In the past nine months Ma Long has been irrepressible; against Oh Sang Eun he started like an express train.
In the opening game Oh Sang Eun was unable to cope with the barrage of attacking strokes, especially from the mighty Ma Long forehand, to which he was subjected.
A fine start for China; then it was the Menís Singles Athens 2004 Olympic final re-enacted.
Eight years ago, in the Greek capital city, Ryu Seung Min had succeeded but in the vast majority of other meetings it has been Wang Hao who has prevailed.
Both pen-hold grip players but undoubtedly the fact that Wang Hao executes top spin strokes from both sides of the racket gives him a distinct advantage.
Ryu Seung Min, the traditional pen-holder using just one side of the racket is an outstanding player but in the modern era, the style he utilises is somewhat limited.
Trying to play forehand top spin strokes with no effective backhand is a dangerous occupation and so it proved in Dortmund.
Ryu Seung Min captured the first game but then words from Liu Guoliang, the Head Coach of the Chinese Menís Team and Wang Hao was in gear.
He won in four games (4-11, 11-5, 11-3, 11-8).
Success for Wang Hao, a player with a very effective backhand but if anyone required an example of how to execute strong backhand strokes, the next man on duty was the player to set the example.
Zhang Jike, winner of the Menís Singles title at the GAC GROUP 2011 World Championships in Rotterdam is increasingly becoming famed for his backhand.
He is the reigning World champion and in one yearís time, either Zhang Jike or one of his colleagues is favourite for the title in the Parisien suburb of Bercy.
However, if there is one player who in the next decade can stop China gaining that title then, other than Timo Boll, the name is Kim Min Seok.
It was the multi-talented Korean whom Zhang Jike faced in the third match of the fixture.
Won First Game
Immediately Kim Min Seok displayed his immense talent and brought his team mates to their feet in adulation as he captured the first game against Zhang Jike.
However, after a meeting of the brainís trust at the end of the game, Zhang Jike was given strict instructions; outstanding control but at the end of the duel the reigning World champion knew he had been test.
Zhang Jike, stylish, eventually exerted his authority; he won in four games (8-11, 12-10, 11-5 ) but he knew there was a pretender to his throne and the name is Kim Min Seok.
A place in the final duly booked; now Germany and 10,000 passionate fans await.