07 Nov 2019

Intense disappointment in the men’s event on the opening day of play, one day later on Thursday 7th November, for the host nation at the ZEN-NOH 2019 ITTF Team World Cup in Tokyo, it was the very opposite emotion.

Following defeat at the hands of England in the group stage of play, Japan responded in style to record a quarter-final 3-1 win against Germany.

by Ian Marshall, Editor

The result was according to status, Japan commenced matters the second seeds, Germany the next in line; however the prevailing view, of those in the know, is that at next year’s Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, Germany presents the major challenge to China.

Man of the moment was 16 year old Tomokazu Harimoto. After colleagues Koki Niwa and Maharu Yoshimura had suffered at the hands of Timo Boll and Patrick Franziska (7-11, 11-2, 11-5, 11-5), the teenager accounted for Dimitrij Ovtcharov (11-8, 9-11, 11-8, 11-2), before in the fourth match closing the curtain by overcoming Patrick Franziska (7-11, 11-7, 11-7, 14-12).

Outstanding from Tomokazu Harimoto; his efforts rather overshadowed a remarkable performance from the master of a million and one service variations. In the third match of the contest, Maharu Yoshimura accounted for Timo Boll in straight games (11-7, 11-9, 13-11).

Wins for Tomokazu Harimoto against Dimitrij Ovtcharov and Patrick Franziska paved the way for a Japanese win (Photo: Rémy Gros)
England maintains form. United States excels

Success for Japan came after second place in the initial stage group had been confirmed; England the no.9 seeds, maintained their quite outstanding run of form. Once again selecting Paul Drinkhall, Tom Jarvis and Liam Pitchford, a 3-0 win was posted against the no.8 seeds, the Austrian combination formed by Robert Gardos, Daniel Habesohn and Andrea Levenko.

A tense quarter-final encounter; on the adjacent table, China, the top seeds with Fan Zhendong, Liang Jingkun and Xu Xin on duty, recorded a 3-0 win when facing the no.11 seeds, the United States outfit comprising Feng Yijun, Kanak Jha and Zhang Kai.

Defeat for the United States but they could leave Tokyo with heads held high. Earlier in the day, fielding the same three players, they had caused a major upset. They secured a thrilling 3-2 win against the no.5 seeds, the Swedish line up of Anton Källberg, Kristian Karlsson and Elias Ranefur.

Disappointment for Kristian Karlsson, no quarter-final place for Sweden (Photo: Rémy Gros)
Backbone of victory

Star of the show was Kanak Jha; he beat both Kristian Karlsson (11-6, 6-11, 12-10, 11-7) and in the deciding fifth match of the engagement Anton Källberg (11-8, 8-11, 11-9, 11-13, 11-7). The one further success for the United States accrued in the third match of the fixture; Zhang Kai accounted for Elias Ranefur (11-6, 11-5, 8-11, 11-9).

Thus second place and progress to the main draw was the end result for the United States; Korea Republic had secured first place in the group, having beat the United States and Sweden in the opening day of action.

Kanak Jha the star man for the United States (Photo: Rémy Gros)

Second places secured

At the quarter-final stage, the Korea Republic, the no.4 seeds, meet Brazil, the no.6 seeds; England faces Chinese Taipei, the no.7 seeds.

Chinese Taipei secured second place behind China, the trio comprising Chen Chien-An, Liao Cheng-Ting and Lin Yun-Ju recording a 3-1 win against the no.10 seeds, Nigeria’s Bode Abiodun, Quadri Aruna and Olajide Omotayo. Most impressively, Lin Yun-Ju beat both Bode Abiodun (11-7, 11-7, 11-2) and Olajide Omotayo (11-5, 11-5, 11-3).

Good form from Chinese Taipei to gain second position, it was the same from the Brazilian trio formed by Vitor Ishiy, Eric Jouti and Gustavo Tsuboi; they recorded a resounding 3-0 win in opposition to the no.12 seeds, the Australian combination of Dillon Chambers, Xavier Dixon and Kane Townsend.

Eric Jouti, in impressive form (Photo: Rémy Gros)
Yet to start

Quarter-finals to be concluded in the men’s event, for the women they have yet to commence; the outfit to attract the attention as the group phase concluded being the United States trio formed by Amy Wang, Wu Yue and Lily Zhang. The no.7 seeds, they recorded a 3-1 win in opposition to the no.8 seeds, the Austrian combination of Karoline Mischek, Liu Jia and Amelie Solja; thus second place in the group behind China was secured.

Furthermore, it was very much a team effort. Wu Yue and Lily Zhang beat Karoline Mischek and Amelie Solja (11-6, 13-11, 11-6), Wu Yue accounted for Amelie Solja (11-4, 11-6, 11-6); Amy Wang overcame Karoline Mischek to end matters (11-4, 3-11, 12-10, 11-9).

A 3-1 win for the United States to conclude matters, it was the same for the no.8 seeds, Ukraine’s Tetyana Bilenko, Gana Gaponova and Margaryta Pesotska. They defeated the Egyptian selection of Marwa Alhodaby, Yousra Helmy and Dina Meshref to secure runners up spot behind China, the top seeds. Notably the one success for Egypt was secured by Dina Meshref; in the second match of the fixture she beat Margaryta Pesotska (3-11, 11-9, 11-9, 6-11, 11-9).

Dina Meshref, the one winner for Egypt against Ukraine  (Photo: Rémy Gros)

Imposing performances, it was the same from the no.6 seeds, Romania’s Daniela Monteiro Dodean, Elizabeta Samara and Bernadette Szocs against the no.12 seeds, Vanuatu’s Anolyn Lulu, Stephanie Qwea Priscilla Tommy. Likewise, it was  the same situation for the no.5 seeds, Korea Republic’s Choi Hyojoo, Jeon Jihee and Shin Yubin when facing the no.11 seeds, Brazil’s Caroline Kumahara, Bruna Takahashi and Jessica Yamada.

In both instances the 3-0 score line was the outcome; the end result being that Romania finished in second position behind the no.3 seeds, Chinese Taipei; Korea Republic ended the initial phase ahead of the no.4 seeds, Hong Kong.

The quarter-finals of both the men’s team and women’s team events will be concluded on Friday 8th November.

A place in the quarter-finals for Choi Hyojoo (Photo: Rémy Gros)
World Cup 2019 ZEN-NOH Team World Cup Tomokazu Harimoto Koki Niwa Maharu Yoshimura

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Day 5 - ZEN-NOH 2019 ITTF Team World Cup