Germany progresses to gold medal match again as hosts fall short
Ovtcharov puts a smile on German faces after confirming Germany’s ticket to the Men’s Team final with a commanding 3-0 win over Niwa in the match decider. There are wild scenes of celebration for the European side as Germany makes back-to-back appearances in the final. Meanwhile, it’s bitter disappointment for Japan with the host nation now focuses its attention on the third step of the medals podium.
Nail-biting contest goes down to the decider
Four matches played, and we still don’t have a winner between Germany and Japan! Tomokazu Harimoto levelled the scores after fighting back to beat Dimitrij Ovtcharov 3-1, only for Germany’s advantage to be restored with Boll posting the same margin of victory over Mizutani. Then, in an extraordinary encounter, Harimoto has just completed a thrilling comeback win from two games down to beat Franziska 3-2, levelling the scores once again. The deciding fifth fixture sees Ovtcharov and Niwa take to the table for a place in the Men’s Team final.
Boll and Franziska put Germany in front
The early advantage goes to Germany in the closing fixture of the day, with Timo Boll and Patrick Franziska combining to doubles success against their Japanese counterparts. Jun Mizutani and Koki Niwa did well to recover a two-game deficit to force a decider, but Boll and Franziska held their nerve to edge the contest 3-2. Trailing 1-0 in this high-stakes semi-final, but can the host nation respond?
Republic of Korea bows out of Men’s Team semi-final to China
Ma Long, Fan Zhendong and Xu Xin complete a day of double joy for China as they beat the Republic of Korea 3-0 in the semi-final of the Men’s Team event to advance to the final. Like their women compatriots, the men trio also showed their dominance as they outplayed the Koreans. Ma And Xu got the early point after beating Lee Sangsu and Jeoung Youngsik 3-0 in 24 minutes. The contest between Fan and Jang Woojin was over in 36 minutes with the Chinese prevailing in straight games 3-0. Lee ensured the Koreans would not go down without a fight as he pushed Ma to the distance before bowing out in a 3-2 defeat to the Chinese.
“We prepared ourselves well for this match with the Koreans. Getting the first point for China in the opening doubles was good as it gave us the momentum. It was a tough match with Lee but overall, I’m happy I managed to fight back and not give him any chances to take the match into the fourth game,” said Ma.
“From the start we were quite careful but as the game progressed and when we started winning the points, we got more confident. We are able to play to each other’s strength and that’s the key to our success,” said Fan.
China eliminates Germany, set to face Japan in Women’s Team final
China proved too strong for Germany as the trio of Chen Meng, Wang Mangyu Sun Yingsha defeated their German opponents 3-0 to set up a mouth-watering clash with Japan in the Women’s Team final. The Germans could not find an answer against the dominant Chinese as Petrissa Solja and Shan Xiaonan fell early with an opening 3-0 loss to Chen and Wang. Sun continued the charge for China by taking down Han Ying in straight games 3-0. Solja took a game off Chen but the world number one would recover quickly and win her next three games.
“I really enjoyed my partnership with Chen Meng today. We followed our game plan very well and we were very calm and focused today,” said Wang.
“We are excited about meeting Japan in the final. They have very strong players and it will be an tough battle. For now, we are looking forward to a short rest to recharge before we get ready for the final,” added Chen and Sun.
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Results: ITTF.com and Worldtabletennis.com
Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games media notes are available here.