02 Aug 2021

Medal hopes were very much alive for the host nation when play closed on Monday 2nd August at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, the Japanese men’s team booked a quarter-final place, the women advanced one round further.

by Ian Marshall

Major progress, it was the same for Korea Republic, the men’s team reached the last four, the women to the last eight.

Additionally, in the men’s team event, Sweden reserved a quarter-final place, China a semi-final berth; in the women’s competition, Singapore advanced to the last eight, Hong Kong to the penultimate round.

Men’s Team Round One: Japan 3-0 Australia

Japan, the no.3 seeds, recorded a 3-0 success against Australia, the no.16 seeds.

Two left handers in the guise of Jun Mizutani and Koki Niwa combined to form the doubles pair, a sight never previously witnessed in a men’s team event at an Olympic Games. They beat Heming Hu and Chris Yan in straight games (11-7, 11-3, 11-8).

Tomokazu Harimoto increased the advantage, he accounted for David Powell (11-4, 11-9, 11-7), before Jun Mizutani overcame Chris Yan (11-4, 11-1, 11-9) to end matters.

Men’s Team Round One: Sweden 3-1 United States

Sweden, the no.5 seeds, claimed a 3-1 success in opposition to the United States, the no.14 seeds.

Kanak Jha underlined his quality; in the second match of the fixture, he beat Mattias Falck in five games (9-11, 11-8, 11-9, 14-12); currently Mattias Falck is listed at no.9 on the ITTF Table Tennis Men’s World Rankings, Kanak Jha is at no.30.

The reverse came after Anton Källberg and Kristian Karlsson had given Sweden the perfect start; they beat Nikhil Kumar and Zhou Xin in straight games (11-6, 11-5, 11-5).

Anton Källberg returned to the action; in the third match of the fixture, he overcame Zhou Xin (11-7, 11-8, 11-8). Kristian Karlsson beat Kanak Jha to conclude the contest (12-10, 11-5, 11-6).

Women’s Team Round One: Singapore 3-0 France

Singapore, the no.6 seeds, proved too strong for France, the no.13 seeds; a 3-0 result in their favour the outcome.

On her 17th birthday, Prithika Pavade underlined her potential; she won the first two games against Feng Tianwei, before experience counted (8-11, 6-11, 11-3, 11-8, 11-3).

Playing her first ever match in the Olympic Games, Stéphanie Loeuillette partnered Yuan Jia Nan in the doubles; they were beaten by Lin Ye and Yu Mengyu (11-6, 11-5, 13-11).

Yu Mengyu, fourth place in the women’s singles, accounted for Yuan Ji Nan (11-8, 7-11, 11-5, 11-8) to conclude matters.

Women’s Team Round One: Korea Republic 3-0 Poland

A much closer contest than the score line may suggest; in the opening doubles Choi Hyojoo and Shin Yubin overcame Natalia Bajor and Natalia Partyka by the very narrowest of decisions (11-6, 12-10, 11-13, 4-11, 13-11).

Similarly, in the contest that brought the fixture to a close Shin Yubin had to stave off a spirited recovery by Natalia Bajor (11-4, 11-7, 9-11, 8-11, 11-5).

Sandwiched in between, Jeon Jihee overcame the classic defensive skills of Li Qian in straight games (11-4, 11-8, 11-3).

Men’s Team Quarter-Final: Korea Republic 3-1 Brazil

Korea Republic, the no.4 seeds, secured a 3-0 win against Brazil, the no.6 seeds.

Jang Woojin extracted revenge for his fourth round men’s singles defeat when losing to Hugo Calderano in seven games (11-7, 9-11, 6-11, 11-9, 6-11, 11-5, 11-6); in the second match of the fixture, he defeated Hugo Calderano in straight games (11-6, 11-8, 12-10).

The result sealed Brazil’s fate. Earlier Jeoung Youngsik and Lee Sangsu had beaten Vitor Ishiy and Gustavo Tsuboi (11-6, 11-2, 12-10).

Jeoung Youngsik concluded matters by overcoming a determined Gustavo Tsuboi (11-6, 8-11, 11-4, 8-11, 11-7).

Men’s Team Quarter-Final: China 3-0 France

China, the top seeds, imposed their authority, a 3-0 margin of victory was the outcome against France.

Simon Gauzy caused Fan Zhendong a host of problems; he extended the men’s singles silver medallist the full seven games distance (10-12, 12-10, 8-11, 11-5, 11-7).

Ma Long and Xu Xin beat Alexandre Cassin and Emmanuel Lebesson to give China the ideal start (11-6, 11-5, 11-7). Xu Xin overcame Emmanuel Lebesson to conclude matters (11-8, 11-5, 11-6).

Women’s Team Quarter-Final: Hong Kong 3-1 Romania

Doo Hoi Kem proved the backbone of Hong Kong’s success. She beat Bernadette Szocs (11-5, 11-5, 11-6) and Daniela Monteiro Dodean (11-3, 11-2, 14-12).

Daniela Monteiro Dodean and Elizabeta Samara gave Romania the perfect start by beating Lee Ho Ching and Minnie Soo Wai Yam (11-5, 5-11, 11-7, 6-11, 13-11).

Crucially, Lee Ho Ching overcame Elizabeta Samara (ROU) in the third match of the engagement (11-9, 11-8, 12-10) to settle Hong Kong nerves

Women’s Team Quarter-Final: Japan 3-0 Chinese Taipei

Miu Hirano and Kasumi Ishikawa set the tone for the contest by overcoming Cheng Hsien-Tzu and Chen Szu-Yu (11-8, 11-6, 11-5) in the opening engagement.

Mima Ito followed suit, she accounted for Cheng I-Ching to double the lead (11-2, 11-9, 11-8). Miu Hirano (JPN) concluded matters by overcoming Chen Szu-Yu (11-9, 7-11, 11-4, 11-4).

Quarter-Finals Conclude, Finalist Known

On Thursday 3rd August, in addition to the women’s team semi-final between Japan and Hong Kong, the quarter-finals of both men’s and women’s events will be concluded.

In the men’s competition Japan meets Sweden, Germany opposes Chinese Taipei; in the women’s event, Germany is also in action, they face Kore Republic, China opposes Singapore.

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