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World Team Championships: Chinese Sweep

(by Steve Hopkins)

As the dust has settled at the 2022 ITTF World Team Championships Finals in Chengdu, the host Chinese squads have claimed both titles.  The Chinese women clinched on Saturday with a 3-0 win over Japan, and the Chinese men clinched on Sunday with a 3-0 win over Germany.

The dominance of the Chinese teams cannot be overstated.  Fan Zhendong was 7-1, Ma Long was 7-0, Liang Jingkun was 2-0, Wang Chuqin was 6-1, and Lin Gaoyuan was 2-0.  If you add up all of the losses, there were not enough to score the three wins necessary to win team match.  The dominance of the women was even greater – as not a single team member lost a match (Sun Yingsha, Chen Meng, and Wang Manyu were all 7-0, Wang Yidi was 2-0, and Chen Xingtong was 1-0.  If the Chinese were planning out a more successful event, it unlikely that they could have written a better script.

The Japanese also had strong showings.  Their Women’s team was nearly as dominant over the rest of the field as China was over all squads – that is, they won 3-0 against every team except for their 0-3 loss to China.  The Japanese men also played well – losing only one match (to the Chinese).  Had Japan happened to be in the lower half of the draw, they very likely would have been playing in the Final.  As it was, Harimoto’s two wins against China in the Semifinal were the only two losses suffered by China in the whole tournament).   When you look at the overall individual performances, Tomokazu Harimoto’s 11-1 (including a win over World No. 1) is likely the best – with Ma Long’s undefeated 7-0 win (with his best win over No. 6 Truls Moregard) is a close second.

Germany’s men likely performed better than most expected – in their run to the Final.  Germany’s women also had a solid run defeating Hong Kong in the Quarterfinals before falling to Japan in the Semifinals.

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