(By Amy Karpinski, President of Cape Fear Table Tennis Club/Photo by Tony Murnahan)
USA + China = Winning Combination
The Ping Pong Diplomacy mixed doubles matchups are proving to be a winning combination. USA’s Lily Zhang and China’s Lin Gaoyuan, paired together for the first time, defeated the strong German pair of Dang Qui and Nina Mittelham 3-1. Qiu and Mittelham had no answer for the quickness of the Chinese/American pair. Gaoyuan and Zhang face the tough Russian pair of Kirill Skachkov and Olga Vorobeva in tomorrow’s action.
The second ping pong diplomacy team of Kanak Jha and Wang Manyu plowed through the highly ranked Slovakian team of Lubomir Pistej and Barbora Balazova 3-0. Jha and Wang will be facing their toughest opponents yet tomorrow when they play India’s Sathiyan Gnanasekaran and Manika Batra. The Indian pair shattered the hopes of Puerto Rican fans by defeating fan favorites Adriana Diaz and Brian Afanador 3-1.
It was amazing to witness the Chinese and American fans cheering together for these teams! One can only expect this to amplify in Friday’s round of 16. An electrifying atmosphere is expected as these two teams march on!
There were no major upsets in the mixed doubles round with all teams moving on as they should.
Full results of the mixed doubles event can be found at this link: https://eventresults.ittf.com/eventInfo?subEvt=XDOUBLES&selectedTab=Draws&eventId=2346
The air sizzled with anticipation of the big match of the day for men’s doubles. China’s top ranked team of Fan Zhendong and Wang Chuqin faced the daunting fan favorite team of Germany’s Timo Boll and Patrick Franziska. Despite their valiant effort, Boll and Franziska fell 3-0 to Zhendong and Wang.
USA’s Nikhil Kumar and Kai Jiang fell 3-1 to the strong English team of Paul Drinkhall and Liam Pitchford. Kumar and Jiang had no answer for the English team’s creative shot making abilities. With USA men’s disappointing loss, this leaves the USA fans with no home country team left to cheer in men’s doubles.
Full results of the men’s doubles event can be found here: https://eventresults.ittf.com/eventInfo?subEvt=MDOUBLES&selectedTab=Draws&eventId=2346
USA’s young team of Joanna and Rachel Sung had a tough pairing with Barbora Balazova of Slovakia and Hana Metalova of Czechoslovakia. The young American sisters battled bravely but could not compete with the experience and power of the Balazova/Metalova duo falling 4-1. Once again US fans are disappointed that there will not be a US women’s doubles team going forward.
Another sister team also played today. Adriana and Melanie Diaz of Puerto Rico, and huge fan favorites, met their match against Korea’s Choi Hyojoo and Lee Zion. The heavily favored Diaz sisters struggled against the consistency and power of Choi and Lee – ultimately falling three straight.
China’s top team of Sun Yingsha/Wang Manyu and Japan’s top teams of Kasumi Ishikawa/Miu Hirano and Mima Ito/Hina Hayata all crushed their opponents 3-0.
With all the top teams still left in women’s doubles, this will be an event to electrify the crowds in the coming days.
For all of women’s doubles results, please click here: https://eventresults.ittf.com/eventInfo?subEvt=WDOUBLES&selectedTab=Draws&eventId=2346
Doubles rounds of 16 continues tomorrow, Friday, November 26.
More photos here
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