02 Jun 2017

With the conclusion of the Men's Doubles quarter-finals, the first medallists at the Liebherr 2017 World Table Tennis Championships were decided.

by Wade Townsend

Japan’s Masataka Morizono and Yuya Oshima have finally found a place on the podium together at a World Championships, defeating Chinese Taipei’s Chen Chien-An and Cheng-Ting Liao 4-1.

In Suzhou 2015, they lost in the quarter-final to Xu Xin and Zhang Jike 4-3. The pair went down in the final game 12-10, after having multiple match points.

Victory here in Düsseldorf means they are finally in to the semi-final stage. It has been a medal two years in the making.

“I am now very happy. Two years ago we lost. But in these two years we practice so much; every day we practice doubles. Now we have better technique, make a better combination, and have better trust.” Masataka Morizono

Japan has locked up two medals. In the opposite half of the draw, Mahahura Yoshimura and Koki Niwa were able to prevent Vladimir Samsonov from securing his third World Championship doubles medal. They took down Samsonov and Pavel Platonov 11-8, 11-8, 11-6, 11-6.

Chinese pair Fan Zhendong and Xu Xin had to come from 0-2 down against Hong Kong’s Ho Kwan Kit and Wong Chun Ting. They won in seven games, having to come from 1-4 down in the decider.

Fan knows they will need to do better in the semi-final if they are going to stand a chance at wining gold.

“Our two minds were not very united, as doubles is always two people playing together. Sometimes, the two people’s thoughts are not in sync. If one person is too aggressive, there may be more misses, and if one person is too stable, it may not threaten the opponents enough. In this respect, the two of us need to communicate more efficiently on the court.” Fan Zhendong

And exactly how much time have the pair give to doubles preparation in the lead-up to Düsseldorf?

“In a given day of morning and afternoon practice, there will be about half an hour to an hour of practice specific to doubles training.” Fan Zhendong

Will the preparation be enough when they face Korea Republic’s Jeoung Youngsik and Lee Sangsu for a spot in the final?

Liebherr 2017 World Championships

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