Problems for Jun Mizutani but Japan Maintains Perfect Progress
Courtesy of ITTF
Victory against Portugal by three matches to one in their concluding fixture in the Men’s Championship Division at the Perfect 2016 World Team Championships in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia in the early evening of Wednesday March 2nd, assured Japan of top place in their group.
Five fixtures completed, five wins, Yosuke Kurashima, the coach, could hardly have asked for more, the first phase had been completed in style.
However, Portugal did prove most worthy opponents with João Monteiro accounting for Jun Mizutani in the third match of the fixture (3-11, 7-11, 11-9, 11-9, 11-8) after Maharu Yoshimura had given Japan the ideal start by overcoming Tiago Apolonia (11-8, 11-8, 10-12, 12-10).
Matters level, Koki Niwa beat Marcos Freitas (11-7, 11-5, 11-5), before Jun Mizutani returned the table to overcome Tiago Apolonia (5-11, 11-8, 11-6, 11-6).
“I won the first two games easily against João Monteiro and I led 7-4 in the third, I lost the game and then I felt under great pressure”, said Jun Mizutani. “I don’t think that he played outstandingly well but he had a really good attitude, he fought so hard for every point.”
Success for Japan; there were also successes for Poland and Ukraine.
Poland with Wang Zengyi, Jakub Dyjas and Daniel Gorak on duty overcame the Belarus trio of Aliaksandr Khanin, Pavel Platonov and Gleb Shamruk by three matches to nil.
Wang Zengyi beat Aliaksandr Khanin (11-5, 11-6, 11-4), Jakub Dyjas accounted for Pavel Platonov (12-10, 11-7, 11-7), before Daniel Gorak defeated Gleb Shamruk in four games to conclude matters (11-6, 10-12, 11-6, 11-1).
Similarly Ukraine posted a very impressive three-one win against Singapore.
Defeat but for Liu Jiayi, the Singapore Men’s Coach, there was one bright light in a three-two defeat.
After Kou Lei had beaten Pang Xue Jie to give Ukraine the ideal start (11-5, 11-6, 11-4), Clare Chew leveled matters by recovering from a two games to nil deficit to overcome Yaroslav Zhmudenko (11-13, 11-13, 11-7, 11-6, 11-8).
Alas for Singapore, that was to be their only success.
Yevhen Pryshchepa beat Poh Shao Feng Ethan (10-12, 11-9, 13-11, 11-9), before Kou Lei returned to the table to end matters. He beat Clarence Chew (12-10, 11-7, 5-11, 14-12).
The results meant that Japan finished clear of the field with an unblemished record (ten points); next in line came Poland, Portugal and Ukraine all with eight points.
Therefore match ratio was required to determine the outcome. Earlier Portugal had beaten Ukraine three-two; Ukraine had recorded a three-two success against Poland, whilst Poland had overcome Portugal by three matches to one.
Match ratio determined that second place in the group went to Poland (5:4) with Portugal (4:4) in third place. Ukraine finished fourth (4:5) and thus missed out on a main draw place.
Gao Ning Injured
Singapore finished in sixth place (five points), the position a little harsh.
They were hampered by the absence of Gao Ning, who after playing in the opening fixture against Portugal on the first day of action, an ankle injury has forced his withdrawal from the competition on doctor’s advice.
It is anticipated he will be out of action for three weeks.
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