(by Simon Daish)
Preview Day Two: Action intensifies, group stage to conclude
Following an exciting start to the 2018 ITTF-Team World Cup the second day of action in London is anticipated to produce just as much drama with the final round of group stage matches taking place in the opening session on Friday 23rd February before quarter-finals action draws the day to a conclusion.
With four group winners already through to the last eight of the Women’s Team event the attention turns to the race for second position in each group.
The closest battle for a runner up spot could come courtesy of Group A as the United States of America and Egypt meet in a play-off for the quarter-finals. Both sides suffered 3-0 defeats at the hands of Japan on day one, but which team will join the second seeds in reaching the second stage of the event?
Team England faces a difficult task ahead with the hosts requiring an almighty result to keep their campaign alive. Opponents Singapore surely enter the remaining Group C encounter as the big favourites to progress, but England won’t go down without a fight and will attempt to make the most of of the home crowd advantage.
Two further ties will also be contested: Bernadette Szocs and her Romanian teammates will fancy their chances of qualifying from Group D but first they must see off Australia while the runner up of the 2015 ITTF-Team World Cup DPR Korea takes on Brazil for second position in Group B.
Either one of Sweden or France will miss out on the last eight of the Men’s Team category as the seventh and ninth seeds go head-to-head in a thrilling Group A finale.
China eased to top spot in the group with powerful displays against both the Swedish and French outfits, leaving both sides in a nervous position heading into day two. Only one team can qualify; will it be Kristian Karlsson and Team Sweden or Emmanuel Lebesson’s France?
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