China, Japan set up 5th consecutive women's final at table tennis team worlds-Xinhua

China, Japan set up 5th consecutive women's final at table tennis team worlds

Source: Xinhua

Editor: huaxia

2024-02-23 21:53:00

BUSAN, South Korea, Feb. 23 (Xinhua) -- China and Japan are set to clash in the women's team final for the fifth consecutive time at the ITTF World Team Table Tennis Championships Finals, following their victories in the semifinals on Friday. China overcame France, and Japan triumphed over Hong Kong, China, both with 3-0 wins.

In the opening match, China's premier paddler, Sun Yingsha, broke a 5-all tie with a run of six points to take the lead at 11-5 against 19-year-old Prithika Pavade. The 33rd-ranked Pavade fought back to save four game points, narrowing the gap to 8-10, but Sun regained her composure to clinch the second game at 11-8 with a decisive forehand.

Pavade showed her ability in rallies, bouncing back from 3-6 down to a 9-8 lead and even secured a game point at 11-10. But two late mistakes in service cost the French prodigy's chance of staying in contention, as Sun bagged two consecutive points after a 12-all tie to emerge victorious.

Next, Chen Meng extended China's lead by defeating France's top player, Yuan Jianan, 3-1.

After winning the first game 11-6, Chen mounted a comeback from 4-9 down in the second game with a streak of three points, but the 20th-ranked Yuan regained her composure after a timeout to win 12-10, evening the score for the two players.

Chen overcame Yuan's challenge in the third game with an 11-8 win and sealed her victory with an 11-4 win in the fourth game.

World No. 2 Wang Yidi won 11-5 in her first game against 18-year-old Charlotte Lutz, but the French teenager made her response in the second, coming back from 8-10 down to go ahead 11-10, before Wang managed to go through the nip-and-tuck game 16-14.

Wang refused to let the fierce battle take place again, powering China into the final with her 11-2 victory in the third game.

Looking forward to Saturday's final, Chen said, "I hope that we can display China's greatest strength."

Later on Friday, Doo Hoi Kem took the first two games 11-7, 11-9, but 15-year-old Miwa Harimoto bounced back strongly, prevailing 11-4, 11-6, 11-5 to move Japan in front.

World No. 5 Hina Hayata added to Japan's advantage by outplaying Zhu Chengzhu 14-12, 11-3, 11-7.

Miu Hirano secured Japan's berth in the final after sailing past Lee Ho Ching 11-5, 11-5, 11-5 in the third set.

On the men's side, Lim Jong-hoon picked up two wins as hosts South Korea dispatched Denmark 3-1, and will challenge reigning champions China in the semifinals on Saturday.

"Of course, China is world No. 1. But it is our home, so I think we should enjoy the match and take the advantage of our home game," commented South Korean paddler Jang Woo-jin.

Also on Friday, Chinese Taipei upset Germany in straight sets, with France up next in the semifinals.

Veteran Chuang Chih-yuan initiated Chinese Taipei's quest for a spot in the semifinals, as the 42-year-old went the full distance to stun the 10th-ranked penholder Qiu Dang.

In their rapid exchanges which drew the roars time and again from the crowd at the Busan Exhibition and Convention Center, Lin Yun-ju and Dimitrij Ovtcharov went neck and neck to an 8-all tie, before the German paddler was more stable on crucial points for an 11-9 win in the first game.

Their see-saw battle was stretched into the second game, where Ovtcharov broke open an 8-all tie with three unanswered points to extend his lead to two games.

But a tenacious Lin staged his comeback from there, emerging victorious 11-9, 11-9, 11-9 to bring the electrifying matchup to a conclusion.

19-year-old Kao Cheng-jui came back from one game down to beat Patrick Franziska as Chinese Taipei eliminated the silver medalists from the previous two championships for its first medal since 2014.

"We didn't think that we could win. Germany is a really strong team, and we are really happy that we can win the match," said the eighth-ranked Lin.