Day 4 of the inaugural ITTF Mixed Team World Cup 2023 proved a day to remember for Korea Republic, with the 4th seed coming up with two crushing victories on the second day of Stage 2 action in Chengdu.
Opening the day with a perfect 8-0 win over Slovak Republic, the Korean team turned its attention to another European outfit later in the day, with Day 3 headline-makers Sweden standing in their way.
The Swedes made a bright start to the evening showdown with Christina Kallberg and Kristian Karlsson combining to take the mixed doubles 2-1, but it was all one-way traffic for Korea Republic from that point on.
Lee Zion got the ball rolling for the 4th seed, besting Linda Bergstrom in straight games, before Lim Jonghoon extended the lead with an impressive 3-0 showing against Anton Kalberg. Jang Woojin and Lim Jonghoon put the result beyond any doubt in the following doubles, seeing off Kristian Karlsson and Anton Kallberg to keep Korea Republic well on track for a strong finish in Chengdu.
“I have played with this player three times before, and for today’s game, I used the experience of playing before to deal with it.” Lee Zion
FOLLOW TOURNAMENT ACTION
Next up for Korea Republic is an exciting showdown with 3rd seed Japan, who also completed two wins on Day 4.
Like Korea Republic, Japan also faced opposition from Sweden on Thursday, and it proved a tight affair with the European side picking up five games. Three of those games came courtesy of Anton Kallberg and Kristian Karlsson, who comfortably dispatched Tomokazu Harimoto and Shunsuke Togami.
But it was Hina Hayata who proved the hero of the hour, shining bright against Linda Bergstrom in the singles to spur her team on to an 8-5 victory. Japan also came up with the goods against Slovak Republic, recording an 8-2 win in that match-up.
Elsewhere, top seed China continues to excel on home soil, earning back-to-back 8-1 successes against Chinese Taipei and France to top the standings heading into Day 5. China resumes its campaign with a big clash against 2nd seed Germany on Friday evening.