Stage 2 of the inaugural ITTF Mixed Team World Cup opened in exhilarating fashion with Sweden continuing their hot streak and upstaging second seed Germany.
Stunning all in attendance in Chengdu, Sweden pulled off the tournament’s biggest upset to date, defeating second-seed Germany in their first match of Stage 2. Germany put up a strong fight but the Swedes proved too strong and took the win 8-4. The dynamic mixed doubles pairing of Christina Kallberg and Kristian Karlsson started off strong claiming two games in the opening match against Germany’s Yuan Wan and Cedric Meissner, followed by Linda Bergstorm and Anton Kallberg continuing Sweden’s momentum seizing two and three games respectively in the singles. Doubles aficionado Karlsson then went on to pair with Kallberg to secure the victory for Sweden.
“We will analyse how they have played here in the previous matches. And well, I think we are all in good shape today. So of course, we are in high spirits, and we will prepare well for the matches tomorrow,” reflects Karlsson after their win.
Sweden will face the rest of the Stage 1 group winners tomorrow (Korea Republic and Japan), it will be integral for them to try claim a victory where they can for them to reach the podium.
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Japan started Stage 2 easily dismantling Chinese Taipei 8-0. The Japanese team showcased their prowess, with Hina Hayata and Tomokazu Harimoto dominating the mixed doubles, and Miu Harano and Ryoichi Yoshiyama bringing home the win in the women’s and men’s singles.
Elsewhere, Korea Republic protected their seeding and fended off France 8-5. After a rocky start in the mixed doubles where they dropped three games, Jeon Jihee and An Jaehyun were each able to secure two games in the singles, giving the team the traction they needed. An then went on to pair with Lim Jonghoon to pull off three games in the men’s doubles, setting up Jeon and Shin Yubin to seal the deal for the team.
Playing true to form, top seed China defeated Slovak Republic in the most emphatic manner only dropping one game in the mixed doubles.
Stage 2 continues tomorrow at 10:00 local time (GMT+8) where fans can expect even more drama and fanfare as matches unfold.