09 Nov 2019

The ZEN-NOH 2019 ITTF Team World Cup knock-out stages continue, as the teams battle it out to move on to the finals.

Play begins at 11:00 local time, on Saturday 9th November.

Home crowd signals delight as Japan reaches final

Women’s Team: Semi-Finals

Despite Shin Yubin taking the opening game the young Korean is unable to deny Mima Ito victory (8-11, 11-7, 12-10, 11-9) as hosts Japan secure a 3-1 win over Korea Republic and book their spot in the gold medal match in the process.

The result sees day four’s action draw to a halt – just two fixtures remain on Sunday as the race for men’s and women’s team glory reaches a conclusion.

Confidence building, Miu Hirano powers to victory

Women’s Team: Semi-Finals

An early setback with defeat in the doubles, Japan have well and truly turned this match on its head and now lead 2-1 against fifth seeds Korea Republic. A commanding display from Miu Hirano, who successfully accounted for Jeon Jihee in straight games (11-2, 11-5, 11-9), puts Japan in control, but can they capitalise?

Miu Hirano puts a smile on the Japanese fans faces (Photo: Rémy Gros)
Down twice but Mima Ito holds her nerve

Women’s Team: Semi-Finals

Well that proved to be closer than many might have anticipated as Mima Ito is pushed the full five-game distance by Korean counterpart Choi Hyojoo.

Trailing 0-1 and then 1-2 Ito remained calm in the heat of pressure, claiming the next two games on the bounce to earn a 3-2 success (8-11, 11-3, 10-12, 11-3, 11-6). A crucial victory, Japan are level with Korea Republic at 1-1. Next up it’s Miu Hirano vs Jeon Jihee.

Against the odds, Korea Republic holds early advantage

Women’s Team: Semi-Finals

Kasumi Ishikawa and Miu Hirano have made for a formidable combination in the rounds leading up to the semi-finals, but the Japanese duo tasted defeat in the doubles fixture in Japan’s head-to-head with Korea Republic with Shin Yubin and Jeon Jihee earning an early lead for the latter nation (11-7, 11-8, 7-11, 12-10).

Jeon Jihee and Shin Yubin hand Korea Republic winning start (Photo: Rémy Gros)

Chinese stars react

Here what Xu Xin and Fan Zhendong had to say following Team China 3-0 victory over Japan:

Every excellent athlete wants to perform in a big hall with a lot of fans. With what I saw here in Tokyo, I am really excited with the presence of the fans and this really motivated me in the match. I am so excited that we will be having this kind of atmosphere and environment during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.” Xu Xin

After playing a few matches in this arena, I think I am beginning to fall in love with it. I am very happy with the atmosphere and I must also thank the fans for their support. Their huge support really aided my performance and I look forward to similar scenes at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.” Fan Zhendong

Heartbreak for host nation, elation for Team China

Men’s Team: Semi-Finals

The Japanese dream has drawn to a close at the semi-final stage of the men’s team event after Xu Xin saw off a valiant effort from Maharu Yoshimura (11-9, 11-5, 6-11, 11-1) to guide Team China to an emphatic 3-0 victory.

Generally, we are disappointed with our performance particularly the group loss against England. I am still pained by this loss. Our goal from the start was to win gold but we are also happy that we at least won a medal. Competing in the same venue that will host the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games has been a good experience for me and I am looking forward to the Games under this atmosphere.” Tomokazu Harimoto

A return to the final for China and thus a repeat of the 2009, 2010 and 2011 finals awaits with Korea Republic providing the opposition once again.

Scoreboard starting to look ominous for hosts

Men’s Team: Semi-Finals

Willing their player on with great support, but the local crowd aren’t able to lift Tomokazu Harimoto to victory in the second fixture of Japan’s meeting with China as the 16-year-old falls at the hands of World no.1 Fan Zhendong.

Claiming the opening two games with little difficulty Fan was made to work a lot harder in game three, saving two game point opportunities before going on to seal victory (11-7, 11-4, 13-11). Next up Maharu Yoshimura takes on Xu Xin in a must-win contest for Japan.

Fan Zhendong holds the upper hand against Tomokazu Harimoto in Tokyo (Photo: Rémy Gros)
Liang Jingkun and Xu Xin put China on front foot

Men’s Team: Semi-Finals

In this epic semi-final clash between two of the finest table tennis nations on the planet, it is Team China that strikes first with Liang Jingkun and Xu Xin obliging in the doubles.

The stronger pair from start to finish Liang and Xu simply had way too much for the host nation’s Koki Niwa and Maharu Yoshimura, winning all three games played by five point margins (11-6, 11-6, 11-6). China leads hosts Japan 1-0 in this unmissable encounter.

Next up, men’s second semi-final!

Ding pushed, but still sends Team China to the final!

Women’s Teams – Semi-finals

Well the ‘Queen of Hearts’ was certainly giving her fans a tough game to watch, with Chinese Taipei’s Chen Szu-Yu pushing her into a power-packed four game tie. A crucial timeout helped steer the tide – and what looked like an injury scare – for Ding Ning and it clearly had an effect on Chen’s momentum as well.

Eventually, Ding reigned in a 3-1 (11-3, 12-14, 12-10, 11-4) victory, sending Team China to yet another Team World Cup final. The Chinese women have been nothing short of exemplary in this competition, and that is what took to eliminate an equally momentous display from Team Chinese Taipei’s squad.

Flying to victory and the final – Ding Ning (Photo by Remy Gros) 
Chen prevents a slip, gains control of tie

Women’s Teams – Semi-finals

The world no.1 looked to be in trouble early on as Chinese Taipei’s Cheng I-Ching took the first game of their match-up, but Chen Meng soon chanelled what makes her the top name in women’s table tennis.

By winning 3-1 (10-12, 11-9, 11-8, 11-8), Chen has now handed Team China a critical 2-0 lead in the semi-final. With the Olympian Ding Ning set to play next versus Chen Szu-Yu, can anyone bet against China making yet another World Cup final?

China start the semi in fifth gear

Women’s Teams – Semi-finals

Team China wasted little time in establishing their dominance this morning as the pairing of Ding Ning and Liu Shiwen won in straight games versus Chinese Taipei’s Cheng Hsien-Tzu and Chen Szu-Yu (11-2, 11-9, 11-9).

The top seeds were in perfect tandem over and across the table, bending their runs to adjust their superior shot play. Cheng and Chen had little opportunity to pick apart the carefully choreographed play by the Chinese and it already looks like a mammoth task for them to turn this around.

Youngsik sends Korea Republic to the final!

Men’s Teams – Semi-finals

For an explosive starting, this tie has turned into a straight up Korea Republic special. Jeoung Youngsik’s win over Liao Cheng-Ting means that Team Korea Republic will play the final of the Team World Cup tomorrow as Chinese Taipei drop out at the semi-final stage.

It was a swift win for Youngsik, needing only three games against Liao (11-2, 11-7, 11-9). Despite the best efforts of Team Chinese Taipei, they were simply hit too hard by the momentum Korea Republic gained on them after that doubles comeback win. Either way, it was a brilliant manner to start the penultimate day here in Tokyo.

Woojin makes his lead count

Men’s Teams – Semi-finals

Things are setting up nicely for Korea Republic as the second match-up saw Jang Woojin come out on top after some impressive shot-making against Lin Yun-Ju (11-9, 5-11, 15-13, 11-8).

The veteran Korean was in a good mood as he handled everything the young prodigious Chinese Taipei athlete threw at him, especially in the third game where he saved 5 game points. This momentum saw Woojin clinch the win in four, and his side now need just the one victory to make the finals!

Chinese Taipei hit by Korea Republic comeback early on

Men’s Teams – Semi-finals

It’s the morning of the semi-finals here in Tokyo and it seems like both Team Korea Republic and Team Chinese Taipei have come fully ready with that memo in hand. Lee Sangsu and Jeoung Youngsik beat Chen Chien-An and Liao Cheng-Ting 3-2 (4-11, 11-13, 11-7, 11-7, 11-9) in an opening battle where neither duo looked like losing.

Chen and Liao were in sync off-the-bat, meaning Sangsu and Youngsik initially could not guide the match-up where they would have liked. Instead, they came back from two games down to win three of their own, setting the cat amongst the pigeons straightaway. If this is what the start was, the fans will be licking their lips at this potential best of five thriller.

The South Koreans Jeoung Youngsik and Lee Sangsu celebrate. (Photo by Remy Gros)
Who will make the World Cup finals?
World Cup 2019 ZEN-NOH Team World Cup Tokyo

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Day 5 - ZEN-NOH 2019 ITTF Team World Cup