CHENGDU, China, Oct. 5 (Xinhua) — Title favorites China and Japan met little resistance in advancing to the women’s quarterfinals as the knockout stage of the World Table Tennis Team Championships Finals commenced here on Wednesday.
China was unconquerable in overpowering Hungary 3-0, only conceding a total of 32 points to its European opponent.
World No. 1 Sun Yingsha kickstarted top seed China’s knockout campaign with an 11-4, 11-2, 11-2 victory over Leonie Hartbrich.
“I got into the match more quickly today compared with group matches. As opponents are stronger in the knockout stage, we need to focus on our own play and prepare for any difficulty in the upcoming matches,” said Sun.
Both Chen Meng and Wang Manyu followed with straight-game victories over Dora Madarasz (11-4, 11-4, 11-3) and Helga Dari (11-3, 11-2, 11-8).
In seeking their fifth straight championship in Chengdu, China will next take on Portugal, who dispatched Luxembourg 3-1 through Shao Jieni’s wins over Sarah de Nutte and 59-year-old Ni Xialian.
In second-seeded Japan’s 3-0 victory over South Korea, Mima Ito came back from one game down to defeat Kim Na-yeong 3-1, followed by Miyuu Kihara’s straight-game victory over Lee Zi-on, and Miyu Nagasaki’s 3-1 win over Yoon Hyo-bin.
Hong Kong, China squandered a 2-0 lead to be dragged into a deciding match by Romania before holding their nerve to see off its opponent 3-2, with Zhu Chengzhu edging Elizabeta Samara in full games and registering two points to seal the deal.
Other women’s quarterfinalists are Germany, Singapore, Chinese Taipei and Slovakia.
In the men’s event, Shunsuke Togami stunned Brazilian ace Hugo Calderano 3-1, and world No. 4 Tomokazu Harimoto and Mizuki Oikawa followed with straight games victories, guiding Japan to a 3-0 win over Brazil.
Both registering 3-0 victories, South Korea and Hong Kong, China will go head-to-head in the quarterfinals.
Also, on Wednesday, 16-year-old Felix Lebrun came out winning the deciding match as France squeezed past England 3-2 to reach the last eight.
The remaining men’s round of 16 matches will take place on Thursday, with nine-time defending champion China to kick off its knockout campaign against India.