Eight teams into quarters decided at table tennis worlds

08:54, May 28, 2010      

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Besides eight leading teams in group rounds, both men and women, eight more teams were ready for the quarterfinals at the 50th World Team Table Tennis Championships here on Thursday.

Belarus, Japan, Russia, Hungary survived the men's one-eighth finals, while Poland, South Korea, Germany and Hungary managed to reach the quarterfinals in the first day of women's knockout stage.

In men's events, team of Belarus, led by veteran Vladimir Samsonov, finished the contest first by claiming an easy win over Poland 3-0.

But the team will face Chinese men paddlers in the quarterfinals on Friday.

"We qualify for the quarterfinals, which is already a great result. Tomorrow we will be relaxed," said the 40-year-old Belarussian player Evgeni Shetinin. "We do not have any illusion regarding our chance against team of China, but we would like to show high quality games. We still have a lot of strength left."

Alexander Petkevich, head coach of Belarussian men's team, expressed satisfaction over the team's performance. "It was a very easy match. I am very pleased with Schetinin's play today. The match against the Chinese will, clearly, be much more difficult," he said.

As for the other men's teams, Japan beat Austira 3-0 and will challenge China's Hongkong the next day. Russia subdued Czech Republic 3-1, waiting for a hard battle against Germany. Hungary won the chance to play with South Korea by overcoming Sweden 3-2. "I don't know what went wrong. We were just not lucky. We had our chances, but we made mistakes at the most important times. Our opponents were playing without pressure and they did well," Swedish paddler Jens Lundqvist said when talking about their performance in the knockout competition.

In women's events, Poland and Netherlands suffered a gruelling marathon of nearly five hours.

Li Jie and Elena Timina of Netherlands, Li Qian of Poland, all are defensive choppers, making the match a "chopping show". Finally, Li Jie defeated Partyka Natalia 12-10, 12-14, 6-11, 11-9, 11-9 to seal the 3-2 victory.

The choppers are set to encounter against China in the quarterfinals.

South Korean women outlasted Croatia 3-1, being ready to face Japan on Friday. Germany, who completed a 3-1 win over Romania, will challenge Hongkong.

Hungary will play the women's quarterfinals with Singapore by holding back Chinese Taipei 3-1.



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