(By Steve Hopkins)
Worlds Update: USA and Canada
The knock-out stage at the Liebherr 2018 World Table Tennis Team Championships will come to a close this weekend.
Team USA’s Women have advanced to the semifinals of the 13-24 knock-out rounds of the Championship Division (the bottom half of the Championship draw where the top finisher will be 13th overall in the tournament). USA defeated the Czech Republic 3-2 in their opening round and then defeated Thailand 3-2 in the second round. They will face Poland on Saturday afternoon.
Against the Czech Republic, Yue Wu and Lily Zhang scored wins in their first set to put Team USA up 2-0 (Yue over Dana Cechova 3-1, Zhang over Hana Matelova 3-0). The Czech team then fought back with back-to-back wins of their own, evening the score at 2-2. In the final set, Lily Zhang defeated Dana Cechova 3-1.
Against Thailand, Yue Wu took the opening set 3-0 (over Orawan Paranang). Lily Zhang then lost 3-2 to Suthasine Sawettabut. Xinyue Wang won her set 3-2 over Thailand’s Nanthana Komwong (including a 12-10 win in the fifth). Sawettabut evened the score with a win over Yue Wu 3-1. And, again, Lily Zhang came through in the decisive fifth game – defeating Orawan Paranang 3-1.
USA’s Men fell to the Netherlands on Thursday in their Division 2 knock-out round. Yijun Feng and Kanak Jha both scored 3-0 wins over Netherland’s Laurens Tromer. However, Netherland’s Ewout Oostwouder managed two wins (defeating Jha in the opening set 3-1 and defeating Feng in the final and decisive set 3-0). Netherland’s Rajko Gommers defeated Nikhil Kumar in the third match as well (3-0). Netherlands advanced 3-2.
Canada’s Women fell to France on Thursday in a tight 2-3 match in their Division 2 knock-out round. Mo Zhang gave Canada an early lead with her 3-0 win over Audrey Zarif. France then won the next two sets by 3-0 scores. Zhang then again scored a win over France’s Stephanic Loeuillette in a set where Zhang trailed 0-2, but ultimately won 3-2. France’s Audrey Zarif won the final set over Canada’s Laura Lai. France advanced 3-2.
Canada’s Men fell to Turkey in their Division 2 knock-out round. Canada’s Marko Medjugorac won the opening set over Turkey’s Ibrahim Gunduz 3-2. Turkey then won the next two sets by 3-2 scores (Yigenler over Bernadet and Gul over Ho). Medjugorac then evened the score with a win 3-1 win over Abdullah Yigenler. Turkey pulled out the last set 3-1 (Gunduz over Antoine Bernadet). Turkey advanced 3-2.
Visit ButterflyOnline.com for updates throughout the event.