by Olalekan Okusan, ITTF-Africa Press Officer
In particular the experience of Liu Shiwen, the youthful exuberance of Sun Yingsha, Miu Hirano and Mima Ito were major highlights.
The quest for the home team was to halt the dominance of China; it was not to happen. A good start vital, the good start was made by the visitors; Chen Meng and Liu Shiwen beat Miu Hirano and Kasumi Ishikawa (11-7, 11-9, 12-10) to set their team on the road to victory.
Match points saved
China ahead, by a whisker Sun Yingsha doubled the lead beating Mima Ito but it could well have been parity; Sun Yingsha escaped from the precipice of defeat.
Mima Ito captured the opening game; in second she raced into a 9-4 lead, before losing the next four points; she called “Time Out”; Sun Yingsha won the next point, level at 9-all. Tense moments but Mima Ito responded, playing bravely she captured the next two points; she led by two games to nil.
Not ready to allow Mima Ito to overpower her easily, Sun Yingsha slowed the tempo of the match, she won the third game then in the fourth led 7-1; Mima Ito reduced the deficit but the gap was too great, a deciding fifth game beckoned.
In the deciding game, the two played with caution trying to outwit each other with ball placement. Mima Ito led 5-2 when they changed ends, she extended the lead to 7-4 and at 10-7 held three match points. She was to win no more, the next five points all went to her adversary, Sun Yingsha she had escaped, China led by two matches to nil.
A close contest between two young players; in the engagement that brought matters to a conclusion, experience confronted youth. Liu Shiwen faced Miu Hirano.
Liu Shiwen, calm and thoroughly efficient controlled matters, she won the first game in style, in the second she recovered from a 1-4 deficit before in the third never being a danger; a straight games was recorded (11-3, 11-8, 11-6).
Once again the title belonged to China and strong hint issued when the world returns to the Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium for Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.