by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor
After Gui Lin had been beaten by Liu Shiwen (11-8, 11-5, 11-3), Bruna Takahashi experienced defeat at the hands of Li Xiaoxia; it could hardly have been a more daunting proposition for the 16 year old from São Paulo. The London 2012 Olympic champion and 2013 World champion stood at the opposite end of the table.
“We prepared very well, we were calm, because we knew that our opponents were very very strong. We know that they represent the best level of Table Tennis in the world. I am very happy to be able to play against them. We have a lot of to learn from them. I will work on my mental strength and I will train more in order to play better. I had a little chance in the first game. We were 8-8, but she confirmed why they are the number one in the world. She gave me no chance, she didn’t fail. But I am happy that I could face her.” Gui Lin
Bruna Takahashi, to her great credit, faced the challenge in a positive manner, she gave her best, in the opening game she had a sniff of a chance but as was only to expected Li Xiaoxia held the answers, she answered any threat that may emanate eventually recording a three games to nil success (11-8, 11-7, 11-1)
“I played very well, I feel very happy, because it was very difficult and I could give my best; so I feel good for that; I think I have learned from playing against Li Xiaoxia, let me see if I can apply some of those things to my game.” Bruna Takahashi
Li Xiaoxia is very much the complete player; in every department of her game she can learn.
“She definitely has potential and could be a threat to the Chinese team in future. She played at a higher level than I had expected. If she wants to improve, she should probably put more time into table tennis to practise and study different techniques.” Li Xiaoxia
Doubles Concluded Matters
Success for Liu Shiwen and for Li Xiaoxia; there was also success for Ding Ning and Liu Shiwen in the doubles contest. They beat Gui Lin and Caroline Kumahara (11-1, 11-4, 11-4).
“I think it was good to know how Chinese players play in a big tournament, like the Olympic Games. They trained a lot to play here and much more than they do when they prepare for other tournaments.” Caroline Kumahara
A difference in level; it was the same in the opening round Women’s Team contests which saw Singapore face Egypt and DPR Korea oppose Australia.
The Singaporean trio comprising Feng Tianwei, Yu Mengyu and Zhou Yihan recorded a three-nil win in opposition to the Egyptian outfit comprising Dina Meshref, Nadeen El-Dawlatly and Yousra Abdelrazek.
Likewise the DPR Korea Team formed by Ri Mi Gyong, Ri Myong Sun and Kik Song I overcame the Australian trio of Jian Fang Lay, Zhang Ziyu and Melissa Tapper by the same impressive margin.