25 Aug 2017

Staged in the newly constructed Taipei City Xinzhuang Gymnasium, after four days of play at the 2017 Summer Universiade on Friday 25th August, Japan was the country with the greatest cause to celebrate.

Represented by Yuya Oshima, Masaki Yoshida and Masataka Morizono they booked their place in the final of the Men’s Team event; not to be outdone their female counterparts, Minami Ando, Rika Suzuki and Ayami Narumoto, did exactly the same in the Women’s Team competition.

by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor

In the vital contests, in the Men’s Team event, after a three-one win quarter-final win had been posted against the Russian outfit comprising Arseniy Gusev, Sadi Ismailov and Taras Merzlikin; a three-nil semi-final success was the margin of victory in the penultimate round, when facing Chinese Taipei’s Liao Cheng-Ting, Chen Chien-An and Chiang Hung-Chieh.

At the final hurdle China awaits. Selecting Zhu Linfeng, Kong Lingxuan and Lai Jiaxin, a three-nil win was recorded against Germany’s Hermann Muelbach, Qiu Lang and Gianiuca Walther; before, with Chen Xin replacing Lai Jiaxin in the line-up, a three-one success was secured in opposition to the Korean trio comprising Lim Jonghoon, Jang Woojin and An Junhee.

Good form from the Japanese men; likewise, the Women’s Team excelled

Undoubtedly a three-one penultimate round win in opposition to China’s Sun Chen, Zhou Xintong and Zheng Shichang was the highlight. The success followed a three-nil success at the quarter-final stage when opposing Poland’s Natalia Bajor, Klaudia Kusinska and Roksana Zalomska.

In the final, Korea Republic beckons; represented by Lee Eunhye, Jeon Jihee and An Jeongeun, they recorded a three-one win against Chinese Taipei’s Cheng I-Ching, Chen Szu-Yu and Cheng Hsien-Tu. One round earlier they had beaten the Romanian trio of Mihaela Dospina, Bernadette Szocs and Irina Ciobanu by the very same margin.

Both Chinese Taipei and Korea Republic receive Men’s Team bronze medals, as in the Women’s Team event do China and Chinese Taipei.

The final of both the Men’s Team and Women’s Team events will be played on Saturday 26th August. Play in the table tennis events concludes on Tuesday 29th August.

Hung Yen Lin reports on Japan’s success.

Women’s Team Semi-Final: Japan 3-1 China

Minami Ando versus Sun Chen (11-6, 11-7, 6-11, 7-11, 11-9)

“I feel that I did not perform well in the third game. I did not play at my best in the last two games either but eventually I took the match, so it’s not bad. We know China is very strong in table tennis and it’s very hard to beat them. So we never thought we could win before the match.” Minami Ando

Rika Suzuki v Zhou Xintong (8-11, 1-11, 11-7, 7-11) and versus Sun Chen (11-9, 6-11, 11-7, 11-9)

“I was the second one to play and I lost the match. When I played the fourth match, I was motivated by my team mates; they played so well in the previous matches. I’m very happy in the end I won the match. It is my third time to play in Universiade. Probably it will be my last time. I hope I can perform at my best and have a very good result.” Rika Suzuki

Ayama Narumoto versus Zheng Shichang (5-11, 11-8, 7-11, 11-9, 11-7)

“At first I did not perform well. My coach and teammates told me to change the tactics; and that’s what I did.” Ayama Narumoto

Men’s Team Semi-Final: Japan 3-1 China

Yuya Oshima versus Liao Cheng-Ting (10-12, 11-8, 11-8, 11-4)

“I think Liao Chen-Ting is very good at counter attacking but speaking of counter attacking, I also have confidence in myself. I think this is why I could win. Tomorrow is the final; so far we don’t know what the Chinese Team’s strategy will be, so I’ll just play my best.” Yuya Oshima

Masaki Yoshida v Chen Chien-An (11-9, 11-4, 4-11, 11-6)

“When we played last time at the 2012 Spanish Open, I lost. I was a junior then, I was not so good a player but now my world ranking is much higher and for me I have more confidence; that’s why I can win.” Masaki Yoshida

Masataka Morizono v Chiang Hung-Chieh (11-7, 10-12, 11-5, 11-8)

“The last time I played Chiang Hung-Chieh was in the 2015 Gwangju Universiade the score was also very tight, maybe three-one and the final game also deuce. During the match I just played, just focused on playing. He’s so strong. Last time I played many backhands, this time I changed. Instead of playing backhand I played short; that was my tactic. After the World Championships, I did not practise Men’s Doubles with Yuya Oshima very much but this time we come to Taipei and we have practised a lot for the Men’s Doubles. We must get the gold medal. ” Masataka Morizono

Table tennis is one of 22 sports at the Summer Universiade; the event is organised by the International University Sports Federation (FISU) and is derived from the words “University” and “Olympiad”.

The Games in Chinese Taipei close officially on Wednesday 30th August.

2017 Summer Universiade: Table Tennis Events – Tuesday 22nd to Tuesday 29th August

2017 Summer Universiade Japan