Our Privacy Statement & Cookie Policy

By continuing to browse our site you agree to our use of cookies, revised Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can change your cookie settings through your browser.

I agree

China reach last 16 at World Team Table Tennis Championships in advance


Chinese paddlers reached the round of 16 at the ITTF World Team Table Tennis Championships Finals on Monday, joined by Team Japan, South Korea, and Germany who all enjoyed perfect records of four straight wins in the group stage and with one more fixture in hand each. 

China's top three players delivered a masterclass, ensuring a straight-sets victory over Croatia, their most formidable opponent in the men's group stage.

Coming out of the gate first, Fan Zhendong emerged victorious 11-6, 12-10, 11-9 against Tomislav Pucar. Second-ranked Wang Chuqin dispatched Filip Zeljko 11-6, 11-5, 11-6 to earn the defending champions a two-set lead. World No. 3 Ma Long showcased his attacking firepower in rapid exchanges, winning 11-8, 11-4 in the first two games. Kojic's form then escalated as he built a 9-5 lead in the third game, but Ma notched six points in a row to ensure China's group-leading finish without dropping a set.

Reflecting on the upcoming knockout phase, the Chinese trio underscored the necessity for heightened focus. "The knockout stage leaves little space for errors, and you will get punished if you make mistakes, so I have to be more cautious in the second stage and make better preparations," Fan said. 

Ma Long (L) in action during China's group stage match against Croatia in Busan, South Korea, February 19, 2024. /CFP
Ma Long (L) in action during China's group stage match against Croatia in Busan, South Korea, February 19, 2024. /CFP

Ma Long (L) in action during China's group stage match against Croatia in Busan, South Korea, February 19, 2024. /CFP

Host South Korea pleased crowds at the Busan Exhibition and Convention Center with a 3-0 win over India. 

"Actually, I think the real competition begins from now on. I'm now trying to maintain the tense and that's why I made a lot of cheering moments," commented the 18th-ranked South Korean paddler Lim Jong-hoon.

France, without the Lebrun brothers, Felix and Alexis, secured a 3-0 victory against Australia. This win, alongside Germany, Japan, Sweden, and Portugal, completed the list of teams with four wins in four group matches, all advancing to the knockout stage undefeated.

On the women's side, China concluded its group stage campaign with a 3-0 victory over Hungary. Chen Meng started China's quest as the reigning Olympic champion outperformed Dora Madarasz 11-5, 11-3, 11-3. Sun Yingsha was next to hit the court, and the world No. 1 overwhelmed Mercedes Nagyvaradi 11-2, 11-5, 11-2. Wang Yidi then saw off Bernadett Balint 11-8, 11-5, 11-6.

"As the second stage approaches, we will embrace it with a better mentality and go all out with our concerted efforts," said Sun. 

Despite resting its star duo of Shin Yu-bin and Jeon Ji-hee, South Korea managed a straight-set victory over Cuba. Japan, Germany, Romania, Chinese Taipei and Hong Kong, China also achieved 4-0 win-loss records in the group stage, while France suffered its first loss in the Busan event, falling in straight sets to Croatia.

Also on Monday, 60-year-old veteran Ni Xialian racked up two points as Luxembourg outplayed Iran 3-1 to keep its hope of qualifying for the next stage alive.

Led by world No. 11 Adriana Diaz, Puerto Rico had to go the full distance for its first victory in Busan, triumphing 3-2 over Malaysia.

The competition format sees eight group leaders per gender qualify directly for the round of 16, while second- and third-placed teams in each group will cross swords for the remaining eight berths. The men's and women's last-16 matches will be staged on Wednesday.

(With input from Xinhua)

Search Trends