Asia continues to dominate
As the winners of the ITTF Mixed Team World Cup, China continues to dominate international table tennis, dropping only 12 games across Stages 1 and 2 with their players persistently showcasing an elevated level of skill in front of fans on their home turf. However, this week, we also saw brilliant performances from the silver and bronze medal winners, Korea Republic and Japan respectively. Japan comes home as the team to claim the most games from China, losing 5-8 to the eventual winners. Japan’s wonderkid Tomokazu Harimoto claimed two games from world no. 1 Fan Zhendong and not to be outdone, his younger sister Miwa Harimoto stole two games off China in the mixed doubles and another one in the women’s doubles.
Korea Republic showcased exceptional skill and teamwork this whole week with a countless number of strategic line-ups all as strong as the next to reach the finals and claim the silver medal.
Sweden impresses on the world stage
After their monumental win at the European Team Championships, Sweden arrived in Chengdu ready to impress and impress they did! Seeded #7, Sweden surprised all, defeating Hong Kong, China to qualify for Stage 2. In Stage 2, they carried on their successes and continued to entertain fans, defeating the likes of Germany, France and Slovak Republic to ultimately finish fourth in this historic event. In their match against Japan, the Swedes truly gave the Asian powerhouse a true scare, claiming five games including three games by the dynamic pairing of Anton Kallberg and Kristian Karlsson in the men’s doubles.
Fans were lucky to witness several close matches and upsets from underdogs this week with Puerto Rico’s win against Hong Kong, China 8-7, India’s comeback against Singapore and winning 8-7, and Slovak Republic’s defeat of Portugal 8-5 absolutely captivating the stands in Chengdu.
Innovative new playing format and new Guoliang-Sörling Trophy
The introduction of the ITTF Mixed Team World Cup unveils a ground-breaking playing system for team encounters which both players and fans have fully embraced this week. It embraces an exhilarating mixed team format that not only showcases gender equality but also emphasises collaboration and teamwork in table tennis which will only continue to entertain audiences and promote the sport. In tandem with the innovative playing format comes the Guoliang-Sörling Trophy, a magnificent masterpiece that underscores gender equality and embodies the principles of collaboration and equality within the Mixed Team World Cup. It champions unity among participants, symbolising a shared commitment to these values