Korea Republic have made waves in Chengdu on the third day of Stage 2 action, defeating third seed Japan 8-4 in a captivating match, and setting them on the path to play top seed China for the gold medal at the inaugural ITTF Mixed Team World Cup.
Coming off hot after two swift wins yesterday, Korea Republic opened the match with Jeon Jihee and Lee Sang Su giving them a 2-1 advantage in the mixed doubles.
Japan’s Hina Hayata was then able to claw back two games against Kim Nayeong in the women’s singles, bringing the score to 3-3. Tomokazu Harimoto started the men’s singles strong, claiming the first game for Japan against Jang Woojin, however Jang soon found his footing and went on to win the last two games. He then went on to pair Lim Jonghoon and the pair were unstoppable on the table, defeating Harimoto and Shunsuke Togami in straight sets and sealing the deal for Korea Republic.
“During this period, I’ve had several encounters with Harimoto Tomokazu, and it can be said that the outcomes were evenly matched. Rather than attributing it solely to technical factors, I believe that maintaining a good mindset was the key to securing victory in this match,” said Jang Woojin.
Korea Republic will face Germany next in their penultimate match before coming face to face with top seeds China, putting them on a trajectory to contest for the gold medal against the current favourites.
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Elsewhere, China continues to dominate, dismantling second seed Germany 8-1 and heading into the day 6 of the Mixed Team World Cup top of the standings alongside Korea Republic. Next up for China is an exciting showdown against Japan who will be putting forth their best efforts against the host country.