16 Apr 2024

Day 2 of the ITTF Men’s and Women’s World Cup has come and gone, bringing the heat as Stage 1 places are solidifying. Setting up for the final day of the group stages, athletes fought tooth and nail to secure precious games and points to position themselves for an advantageous position for the final day of Stage 1.

After a promising start on day 1, securing a draw outcome against 8th seed Dang Qiu, Ahmed Salah was unable to keep the momentum going. Shusuke Togami came out swinging in his opening match against Salah, emerging victorious 3-1 (11-9, 4-11, 11-3, 11-4) and securing 37 points. This places him one point ahead of Group 11’s top seed, Dang Qiu, positioning Togami favourably for advancement to Stage 2. In their upcoming match, Togami will need to secure at least two games against Qiu to secure a spot in Stage 2.

Doo Hoi Kem concludes her group matches in an exemplary manner, securing an impeccable victory over Xiaona Shan with a flawless 4-0 score (11-8, 11-8, 11-6, 11-7), evening their head-to-head record to 2-2. With 5 games won and a total of 68 points secured in Group 3, Doo solidifies her position for an ideal group ranking. 

Alexis Lebrun starts his World Cup debut with an intense opening match, battling through to clinch the final game and achieve a draw result against Alberto Mino (3-11, 11-9, 9-11, 11-4). However, with only 34 points earned in this match, Lebrun faces a challenging task ahead. Tomorrow, he must win four games against Lin Shidong to secure a spot in Stage 2.

In a major upset, Benedikt Duda overpowers group 2’s second seed Wong Chun Ting 3-1 (11-7, 11-7, 9-11, 11-8)  in a exhilarating display of skill, keeping fans on the edge of their seats. 

‘I know Wong Chun Ting is a very strong player, and I watched a lot of videos of him, so I was well prepared. And also, I was playing well. And I’m happy that I could win this match.’ Benedikt Duda

Tomislav Pucar concluded day 2 matches with a commanding victory, continuing his strong performance from day 1. In a thrilling contest, Pucar emerged triumphant over Chuang Chih-Yuan with a score of 3-1 (8-11, 11-5, 11-8, 11-4), while also accumulating an impressive 41 points. With one more match remaining in Group 6, Pucar has positioned himself favourably, having secured 5 games and amassing a total of 82 points. In this new playing system where every point is crucial, tomorrow’s match between Chuang and Lin Gaoyuan will determine who advances to Stage 2. Lin must secure four games to avoid the winner being decided by point countback which currently Pucar is leading. 

As Stage 1 matches draw to a close tomorrow and Stage 2 spots decided, anticipation mounts for the action-packed matches  that ahead on day 3 of the ITTF Men’s and Women’s World Cup. Play resumes at 09:30 local time (GMT+8) on Wednesday.

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