(By Steve Hopkins/Photo by ITTF)
2018 World Team Championships: Knock Out Rounds Underway
The group stage is over at the Liebherr 2018 World Table Tennis Team Championships and now the knock-out rounds have begun. In the Men’s Championships Division, Germany and China have advanced unscathed and take their positions as numbers 1 and 2, respectively. Third seeded Japan fell to England – England finished first in Group C and has taken the coveted bye, but Japan is also through to the knock-out rounds after finishing second. The fourth seeded team will not be in the knock-out rounds, as France fell twice in the group stage and Korea, Austria, and Croatia each finished higher.
Germany will play the winner of Croatia and Brazil. The German half of the draw also includes Japan versus Hong Kong with the winner set to play Korea. Because of the Team Japan upset in the group stage, this half of the draw is now overloaded with the original 1, 3, and 4 seeds.
China will play the winner of Austria and Portugal. The Chinese half of the draw also includes Taipei versus Sweden with the winner set to play England. So far through the tournament, host Sweden has performed better than expected so they will be looking for their fans to carry them past Taipei (the sixth seed in the tournament who has fallen victim to an upset already). If so, there could be an exciting Quarterfinal match between two underdogs: No. 9 seeded Sweden and No. 12 seeded England.
WOMEN’S CHAMPIONSHIP DIVISION UPDATE
The top eight seeds among the women’s teams all advanced, though not all in order. Romania upset Taipei to take the first position in Group C. DPR Korea managed three upsets on their way to a second place finish in Group C. And Korea upset Hong Kong to swap 1st and 2nd positions in Group D.
The knock-out round for the women has already begun with Austria defeating Germany – they will now face top seed China in the Quarterfinals. Ukraine upset Singapore and will now face second seed Japan. DPR Korea upset Russia and will now play third seed Korea. And Hong Kong defeated Taipei and will now face Romania.
Visit ButterflyOnline.com for updates throughout the event.