26 Aug 2017

Two titles was the aim, the end result was two silver medals; such was the outcome for Japan on Saturday 26th August at the 2017 Universiade in Taipei City.

A three-nil defeat at the hands of China was the end result in the Men’s Team event; in the counterpart Women’s Team competition it was a three-two reverse when facing Korea

by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor (Interviews by Hung Yen Lin)

Jeon Jihee, currently listed at no.20 on the Women’s World Rankings and the owner of four ITTF World Tour Women’s Singles titles, proved the backbone of the Korean success.

She overcame Rika Suzuki in the opening match of the engagement (15-13, 11-4, 14-12), prior to accounting for Minami Ando in the fourth match (15-17, 11-1, 12-10, 11-4). The one remaining success for Korea was recorded by Lee Eunhye in the decisive fifth contest when she overcame Rika Suzuki (11-5, 11-8, 11-7) to secure the title.

The wins for Japan were recorded by Minami Ando in the second match against Lee Eunhye (11-4, 11-9, 5-11, 11-6) and by Ayami Narumoto one match later when facing An Yeongeun (11-3, 11-7, 11-2).

Disappointment for Minami Ando, Rika Suzuki and Ayami Narumoto; it was the same for Masataka Morizono, Yuya Oshima and Masaki Yoshida in the Men’s Team final.

Zhu Linfeng gave China the ideal start by beating Masaki Yoshida (10-12, 12-10, 13-11, 11-8), before in a closely contested five games encounter, Kong Lingxuan overcame Yuya Oshima (8-11, 11-7, 8-11, 11-5, 11-7). The success turned the tide inexorably in favour of China; Lai Jiaxin completed matters by beating Masataka Morizono (11-8, 11-2, 9-11, 11-6).

“Actually we did think we would play five matches in the final, as their world ranking is higher. So that’s what we did, we just fought. Overall I think today our performance was not bad. Indeed, we encountered some difficulties during the match. We have not often played against them but they all participated in 2015 Gwangju Universiade so we are familiar with them. I think it’s our determination to win brought the victory.” Zhu LinFeng

Gold for China in the Men’s Team event, silver for Japan; it was bronze for the Korea Republic trio of Lim Jonghoon, Jang Woojin and An Junhee, alongside Chinese Taipei represented by Chinese Taipei’s Liao Cheng-Ting, Chen Chien-An and Chiang Hung-Chieh.

One day earlier with Chen Xin preferred to Lai Jiaxin, China had beaten the Korea Republic by three matches to one; Japan had recorded a three-nil win when facing Chinese Taipei.

Meanwhile, in the Women’s Team competition the bronze medals finished in the hands of China and Chinese Taipei

At the semi-final stage the previous day, Japan had recorded a three-one win when opposing China’s Sun Chen, Zhou Xintong and Zheng Shichang. Korea had emerged successful by the same margin in opposition to Chinese Taipei’s Cheng I-Ching, Chen Szu-Yu and Cheng Hsien-Tu.

Attention now turns to the individual competition, play in the table tennis events concludes on Tuesday 29th August.

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

2017 Summer Universiade Jeon Jihee