03 Aug 2021

Delight for the host nation at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games on the evening of Tuesday 3rd August, Japan reserved a place in the women’s team final; the success followed men’s team semi-final places being secured by China, Germany, Japan and Korea Republic.

by Ian Marshall

The Japanese trio comprising Miu Hirano, Kasumi Ishikawa and Mima Ito, the no.2 seeds, recorded a 3-0 win against the no.4 seeds, the Hong Kong combination formed by Doo Hoi Kem, Lee Ho Ching and Minnie Soo Wai Yam.

Miu Hirano and Kasumi Ishikawa posted the perfect start; they beat Lee Ho Ching and Minnie Soo Wai Yam  (11-7, 11-2, 11-8). Mima Ito doubled the advantage, overcoming Doo Hoi Kem  (11-9, 9-11, 11-1, 11-7). Miu Hirano accounted for Lee Ho Ching to end matters (12-10, 11-7, 11-3).

Close call

Success according to seeding, it was the same earlier in the day but there were close calls.

At the quarter-final stage of the women’s team event, Germany, the no.3 seeds, needed the full five matches to overcome Korea Republic, the no.7 seeds.

Han Ying was the mainstay of the German win; she beat Choi Hyojoo in the second match of the fixture (11-3, 11-3, 11-8), before in the fourth overcoming Shin Yubin (11-6, 10-12, 11-6, 11-9).
Shan Xiaona overcame Choi Hyojoo in the vital fifth match (11-8, 11-6, 11-9), to secure the semi-final place.

The wins for Korea Republic were secured by Shin Yubin and Jeon Jihee against Shan Xiaona and Petrissa Solja (9-11, 11-8, 6-11, 11-6, 11-3) in the opening match of the fixture and in the third exchange when Jeon Jihee overcame Petrissa Solja in straight games (11-6, 13-11, 11-3).

Similar for men

Hard fought for the German women’s team, it was the same at the quarter-final stage their men’s outfit. The no.2 seeds, they eventually secured a 3-2 win against Chinese Taipei, the no.7 seeds.

Most impressively, Lin Yun-Ju remained unbeaten for Chinese Taipei. In the second match of the fixture, he beat Dimitrij Ovtcharov (10-12, 14-12, 7-11, 12-14, 11-7) and thus avenged the men’s singles bronze medal match defeat.

Later, in the fourth match, he accounted for Patrick Franziska (11-9, 13-11, 11-6).

Experience prevailed, Timo Boll remained safe and secure. He partnered Patrick to an opening doubles success against Chen Chien-An and Chuang Chih-Yuan (11-0, 6-11, 11-6, 12-10), before in the third match of the engagement, accounting for Chen Chien-An (11-4, 11-4, 11-6).

Thus, the scene was set for Dimitrij Ovtcharov to be the hero. He duly obliged, in the vital fifth match, he overcame Chuang Chih-Yuan (11-8, 11-9, 11-7) to seal the victory

Guiding hands

Timo Boll the guiding hand for Germany, for Japan, the no.3 seeds, in their 3-1 men’s team win against Sweden, the no.5 seeds, the role was filled by Tomokazu Harimoto and Koki Niwa.

They combined to secure doubles at the expense of Anton Källberg and Kristian Karlsson (11-8, 13-11, 8-11, 11-9). Soon after, in the third match of the fixture Tomokazu Harimoto beat Anton Källberg (10-12, 11-9, 11-9, 12-10) to be followed by Koki Niwa who accounted for Mattias Falck  (12-10, 11-5, 11-6) to conclude matters.

Mattias Falck secured the one win for Sweden, his first of the whole tournament and one which past results suggested may not go his way. In the second match of the engagement, he beat Jun Mizutani in four games (11-3, 11-9, 10-12, 11-8); on the international stage, he had lost both previous encounters.

Emphatic win

Hard fought contests, in the one remaining fixture of the day, the women’s team event, China, the top seeds, took no prisoners in their quarter-final clash against Singapore, the no.6 seeds. A 3-0 win was the order of the day.

Chen Meng and Wang Manyu beat Lin Ye and Yu Mengyu (11-5, 11-7, 11-5) to give China the perfect start. Sun Yingsha accounted for Feng Tianwei (11-8, 11-3, 11-8, before Wang Manyu overcame Lin Ye (6-11, 11-9, 11-6, 11-5) to bring matters to a conclusion.


China now faces Germany in the women’s team semi-finals; in the men’s team penultimate round fixtures, China opposes Korea Republic, Germany confronts Japan.

The contests will be played on Wednesday 4th August.

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