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Table Tennis: Japan edge Dutch to reach semis of World Team Champs

The Japan women’s team celebrate a 3-2 victory over the Netherlands as Kasumi Ishikawa wins the deciding match against Brit Eerland. Remy Gros / ITTF via Action Images.

The Japan women’s team celebrate a 3-2 victory over the Netherlands as Kasumi Ishikawa wins the deciding match against Brit Eerland. Remy Gros / ITTF via Action Images.

May 3, 2014: The Japan women’s national team survived a huge battle against the Netherlands before winning 3-2 and progressing to the semi-finals of the World Team Championships in Tokyo.

 

The hosts were stretched all the way by a gallant Netherlands team in a match lasting over four hours and consisting of 23 individual games at the Yoyogi Gymnasium.

 

The two teams kept the home crowd on the edge of their seats and huge cheers erupted after Japan emerged victorious 3-2, with Kasumi Ishikawa edging Brit Eerland in the decider.

 

Ishikawa, Japan’s top-ranked player in the absence of the injured Ai Fukuhara, was in tears after the victory, which helped make up for disappointment in the 2012 World Team Championships.

 

Eerland takes on Ishikawa in the fifth and final match in the epic clash between Netherlands and Japan.

Eerland takes on Ishikawa in the fifth and final match in the epic clash between Netherlands and Japan.

“I remember two years ago in our quarter-final match when I had match points in the fifth game and I ended up losing the match, which knocked us out of the tournament. I am very emotional after this win today, but it is definitely the opposite emotion from two years ago,” said the World No. 10, who was part of the Japan team that won silver at the 2012 Olympics.

 

Japan will face Hong Kong in the semi-finals, while Singapore will face China, who have not dropped a game all tournament. Singapore earned a 3-1 victory over Romania as World No. 7 Feng Tianwei and teammate Yu Mengyu maintained their own unbeaten runs in the tournament.

 

In the men’s competition, fifth seeds Chinese Taipei came back to win 3-2 against Korea Republic and will meet top seeds China, who advanced by defeating Austria 3-2. Chinese Taipei were 2-1 down against Korea before Chuang Chih-yuan came back from 2-0 down against Joo Sae-hyuk to win his match and swing the momentum.

 

Chuang said: “I didn’t just get better against Joo, but against defence in general. I had problems reading the spin before, but I’m getting better at reading it now. I think I made the same mistakes like the first time I played here against him. I was hurrying to finish the point.”

 

In the other half of the draw, Germany enjoyed an easy 3-0 win against Singapore and will be playing hosts Japan in the semi-finals in a rematch of their 2012 semi-final, which Germany won 3-1.

 

Source: ITTF

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