2018 Asian Cup Recap: An Early Knockdown Doesn't Deter the Champ
Site Products
2018 Asian Cup Recap: An Early Knockdown Doesn’t Deter the Champ

2018 Asian Cup Recap: An Early Knockdown Doesn’t Deter the Champ

(By Steve Hopkins)
2018 Asian Cup Recap: An Early Knockdown Doesn’t Deter the Champ

The first day of the 2018 Asian Cup included a real shake-up of the top seeds as rising 14 year old Japanese star Tomakazu Harimoto upset World No.1 Fan Zhendong 3-1 in the round robins and Korea’s Sangsu Lee defeating China’s Gaoyuan Lin (World No. 5) in three straight games.  Because the top two advanced from each round robin, this did not eliminate either of the top seeds – it just created a more difficult road for each to reach the Finals.  With the event in Yokahama, and Harimoto being a rising Japanese Star, the biggest story of that first day is likely to remain the biggest story of the tournament.
The second day, however, was not a good day for the host country.  The young Harimoto came out flat against Korea’s Sangeun Jeong and was never really in the match as he fell 4-1 (7, -8, 9, 5, 8).  And the other Japanese player to make the main draw, Koki Niwa also fell 4-1, winning the first game over Fan Zhendong, but then losing the next four games.  The Semifinals were then set with Lin (China) v. Jeong (Korea) and Fan (China) v. Lee (Korea).
The twist in the Semifinal had more to do with how the players reached that point than the result (both Chinese players won the matches easily).  Conspiracy theorists on the internet were immediately questioning whether the Chinese players lost on purpose (or whether one lost and the other then lost on purpose).  Had only one Chinese player lost, then they could have potentially faced each other in the Semifinals.  Similarly, had Harimoto not pulled off the upset on Day 1, then there would have been an all-Japanese quarterfinal and either Niwa or Harimoto would have represented Japan in the semis.
Regardless of the “what ifs” that accompany all sports – the Semifinals proceeded as expected and balance was restored.  Lin Gaoyuan defeated Sangeun Jeong 4-0.  Fan Zhendong then defeated Sangsu Lee 4-1.  And on the final day of the tournament, Fan Zhendong defeated Lin Gaoyuan in straight games 4-0 (3, 13, 8, 11).
If you just read the event and the winner, you might assume that the Top Seed’s victory in an All-Chinese Final at the Asian Cup is another slow news day.  But there were some interesting stories here.  Japan made the biggest headline with Harimoto, but fell short on the second day with both entries.  Still, Japan can see promise on the horizon.  And Korea can be proud of their big upset on the first day as well as the fact that both of their entries reached the Semifinals.  And the news is not all positive for China either – while the result is what they wanted, the road was more difficult.  China is still on top, but the three power teams in Asia (China, Japan, Korea) may be a closer in parity than many years in the past.

 

Latest News

Butterfly Training Tips With Jishan Liang – Forehand Loop From The Middle & Forehand

June 23, 2022
(By: Bowmar Sports Team) In this Butterfly Training Tips, Jishan Liang has Kyler focuses on a forehand loop… Read More

Butterfly Training Tips With Nandan Naresh – Forehand WTT Westchester Feeder Highlights

June 23, 2022
(By: Bowmar Sports Team) In this Bowmar Sports Tournament Highlights Clip Nandan Naresh is playing in the WTT… Read More

Butterfly Training Tips with Simeon Martin – Forehand, Middle, Backhand

June 23, 2022
[et_pb_section admin_label="section"] [et_pb_row admin_label="row"] [et_pb_column type="4_4"][et_pb_text admin_label="Text"] (By: Bowmar Sports) In this video Simeon Martin is focusing on… Read More

Pong Detroit Has Been Selected As A Top 10 Finalist In The Comerica Bank Hatch

June 22, 2022
(By: Bowmar Sports Teams) Pong Detroit is in the top 10 finalist in the Comerica Bank Hatch Detroit;… Read More

2022 Butterfly June Tournament – Triangle Badminton & Table Tennis

June 22, 2022
(By: Triangle TT Club Team) Our June Tournament was a small one but a good one. TBTT Students:… Read More

Butterfly Training Tips with Anav Gupta – Forehand Looping & Footwork

June 22, 2022
(By: Bowmar Sports) In this Butterfly Training Tips with Anav Gupta he is focusing on looping with the… Read More

Butterfly Training Tips With Aditya Godhwani – Half Long Loop & Gameplay

June 22, 2022
(By: Bowmar Sports Team) In this Butterfly Training Tips, Aditya Godhwani is focusing on Looping Half-Long Serve, then… Read More

ITTF Rankings: Fan on Top, Qiu and Lin-Ju Move Up

June 21, 2022
(by Steve Hopkins) Dang Qiu (World No. 10)is in the World Top 10 for the first time and… Read More
View All News

Get the latest from Butterfly

Stay “In The Loop” with Butterfly professional table tennis equipment, table tennis news, table tennis technology, tournament results, and We Are Butterfly players, coaches, clubs and more.