2016 World Championships Draw: European Champions Face World Champions, Draw Completed in Kuala Lumpur
Courtesy of ITTF
Crowned European champions in late September; at the forthcoming Perfect 2016 World Team Championships, which commence in Kuala Lumpur on Sunday February 28th; in the initial stage of proceedings, Austria faces a prodigious familiar adversary in their quest to add more silverware to that won in Ekaterinburg.
In the Men’s event, at the Draw Ceremony staged at the Subang Grand Dorsett Hotel, Kuala Lumpur on Saturday 16th January, they appear in Group A, the same group as two years ago, the same group as China, the top seeds and defending champions.
The person to thank or chastise for the clash was Ryu Seungmin, the Athens 2004 Olympic Games Men’s Singles gold medalist.
Alongside Joseph Lau, the Referee, leading Malaysian players Muhd Shakirin Ibrahim and Beh Lee Wei, he was present with Tan Sri Dato’ Koo Yuen Kim, the President of the Table Tennis Federation of Malaysia, Didier Leroy, the Competition Manager and Zena Sim Kai Xin from the ITTF Office in Singapore.
Throughout 2015, Robert Gardos, Daniel Habesohn and Stefan Fegerl emerged the tried and trusted selection. At the ZEN-NOH 2014 World Team Championships in Tokyo, the played China not once but twice; they met in the group stage and later in the quarterfinals.
Both outcomes witnessed three-nil successes for Ma Long, Xu Xin and Zhang Jike; the defeat in the quarterfinals being experienced after a first round victory had been recorded against Greece who fielded Kalinikos Kreanga, Konstantinos Papageorgiu and Anastasios Riniotis.
In Kuala Lumpur Austria and Greece will meet again in what might be considered one of the more difficult groups from which to gain a top three place to keep medal hopes alive.
Also in the group is Chinese Taipei, bronze medalists two years ago as a result of a dramatic three matches to two success in opposition the Korea, the fourth seeds. It was an engagement in which Chuang Chih-Yuan saved match points against Joo Saehyuk the fourth contest of the fixture to set the scene for Chien Chen-An to secure victory at the expense of Jung Youngsik.
The Czech Republic and DPR Korea complete the group.
Likewise, Group C in the Men’s Championship Division lists four teams who reached the main draw in 2014; Japan, the third seeds, appears alongside Portugal, Poland and Singapore. Belarus and Ukraine complete the line-up.
Notably at the ZEN-NOH 2014 World Team Championships, with the established trio of Tiago Apolonia, Marcos Freitas and João Monteiro on duty, a three-one win was recorded against the Polish formation of Wang Zengyi, Daniel Gorak and Robert Floras; the win coming prior to a three-nil defeat against the Japanese outfit formed by Jun Mizutani, Koki Niwa and Kenta Matsudaira.
Belarus and Ukraine are the two remaining outfits in the group.
Germany and Korea
Testing times ahead for Japan; it is the same for all in Kuala Lumpur.
Germany, the second seeds in the Men’s Championship Division and Korea Republic, the fourth seeds, each face just one adversary that gained a top 12 place in Tokyo.
Sweden is the team in question for Germany; for Korea Republic, it is Croatia. Alongside Germany in Group B, France, Denmark, England and Malaysia comprise the six outfits; for Korea Republic in Group D, it is Hong Kong, Russia, Romania and Italy.
Netherlands, Third Seeds
The top four in the Championship Division of the Men’s Team event is the same as two years ago in Tokyo. In the counterpart Women’s Team competition, China and Japan occupy the respective top two seeded positions once again, likewise it is the fourth spot for Hong Kong.
However, a different outfit occupies the third seeded place in the draw; the team in question is the Netherlands, in Tokyo it was Korea Republic.
In the Japanese capital city, Korea, with Seo Hyowon, Yang Haeun and Seok Hajung in action, experienced a first round defeat at the hands Romania’s Elizabeta Samara, Bernadette Szocs and Daniela Monteiro-Dodean; conversely the Netherlands came within a whisker of a medal.
At the quarterfinal stage a three-two defeat for the outfit formed by Li Jiao, Li Jie and Britt Eerland was the end result against the Japanese line up comprising by Kasumi Ishikawa, Sayaka Hirano and Yuki Ishigaki. The contest concluded with a dramatic duel that witnessed a five games win for Kasumi Ishikawa against Britt Eerland.
One step further, a medal, is very much the goal for the Netherlands but in Group C, they face Singapore, Ukraine and Belarus; all teams who reached the main draw in Tokyo. Poland and France complete the group.
Momentous Task for Malaysia
Testing times await for the Netherlands; arguably for the host nation it is even more testing.
Malaysia is drawn in Group A alongside China, the defending champions and top seeds; Chinese Taipei, Romania, Hungary and Spain are the remaining teams.
Equally, for Brazil and Sweden, the two promoted teams, life will be exacting.
Brazil appears in Group B, Sweden in Group D. Brazil faces Japan, Germany, DPR Korea, the Czech Republic and Thailand; Sweden opposes Hong Kong, Korea Republic, Austria, Russia and the United States.
Meanwhile, in the Men’s Second Division, Brazil, India, Hungary and Spain are the leading teams, in the counterpart Women’s event it is Serbia, the Slovak Republic, Croatia and Luxembourg.
One tier lower, in Division Three, the leading male outfits are Lithuania, the United States, Chile and Congo Brazzaville; for the women it is Indonesia, Australia, Venezuela and Argentina.
The draw for Men’s Division Four and Women’s Division Four will be conducted at 11.00am on site on Friday 26th February.
A total of 91 Men’s Teams and 81 Women’s Teams will compete in Kuala Lumpur.
First Stage Draw
Championship Division – Men
Group A: China, Austria, Chinese Taipei, Greece, Czech Republic, DPR Korea
Group B: Germany, Sweden, France, Denmark, England, Malaysia
Group C: Japan, Portugal, Poland, Belarus, Ukraine, Singapore
Group D: Korea Republic, Hong Kong, Russia, Croatia, Romania, Italy
Championship Division – Women
Group A: China, Chinese Taipei, Romania, Hungary, Spain, Malaysia
Group B: Japan, Germany, DPR Korea, Czech Republic, Thailand. Brazil
Group C: Netherlands, Singapore, Poland, Ukraine, France, Belarus
Group D: Hong Kong, Korea Republic, Austria, Russia, United States, Sweden
Division Two – Men
Group E: Brazil, Iran, Belgium, Netherlands, Thailand, Canada
Group F: India, Slovak Republic, Nigeria, Vietnam, Switzerland, Turkey
Group G: Hungary, Egypt, Slovenia, Argentina, Mexico, Norway
Group H: Spain, Serbia, Bulgaria, Australia, Latvia, Puerto Rico
Division Two – Women
Group E: Serbia, England, Canada, Belgium, Turkey, New Zealand
Group F: Slovak Republic, Egypt, Lithuania, Italy, Switzerland, Mexico
Group G: Croatia, India, Nigeria, Puerto Rico, Colombia, Portugal
Group H: Luxembourg, Slovenia, Greece, Vietnam, Chile, Bulgaria
Division Three – Men
Group I: Lithuania, Kazakhstan, Finland, Qatar, Mongolia, New Zealand
Group J: United States, Scotland, Algeria, Luxembourg, Guatemala, Cyprus
Group K: Chile, Saudi Arabia, Philippines, Paraguay, Uzbekistan, Yemen
Group L: Congo Brazzaville, Indonesia, Lebanon, Estonia, Ireland, Sri Lanka
Division Three – Women
Group I: Indonesia, Macao, Wales, Finland, Norway, Laos
Group J: Australia, Uzbekistan, Estonia, Congo Brazzaville, Algeria, Nepal
Group K: Venezuela, Iran, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Ethiopia
Group L: Argentina, Kazakhstan, Guatemala, Mongolia, Latvia, Azerbaijan