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Table Tennis: Romania shock South Korea in World Team Champs

Bernadette Szocs (right), 19, celebrates her decisive win in Romania’s shock 3-2 win over third seeds Korea Republic in the last 16 of the World Team Championships in Tokyo. Remy Gros / ITTF via Action Images.

Bernadette Szocs (right), 19, celebrates her decisive win in Romania’s shock 3-2 win over third seeds Korea Republic to move into the quarter-finals of the World Team Championships in Tokyo. Photo: Remy Gros / ITTF via Action Images.

May 3, 2014: Romania’s women shocked Korea Republic 3-2 in front of a capacity crowd at the Yoyogi National Gymnasium in Tokyo on Friday to move into the quarter-finals of the Zen-Noh World Team Championships.

 

Third seeds Korea Republic could not cope with the power and passion of their ninth-seeded Romanian counterparts in one of the tournament’s best matches so far. World No. 8 Seo Hyo-won, Korea’s top player, won both her matches, but the Romania team stayed united and all three players won one match apiece.

 

Bernadette Szocs, 19, won the decisive match 3-2 and the team victory – which had all the team in tears – put them in the quarter-finals for the first time since 2010, where they will face Singapore.

 

“It was really hard for me to play the last game,” Szocs said. “After I was up 5-0 in the last game I couldn’t move and couldn’t make a point, but after 5-5 I made one good backhand. After that point I had so much confidence, which was the key to me winning this match.”

 

The 14th-seeded Netherlands stunned seventh seeds Chinese Taipei 3-0, earning their place in the quarters against hosts Japan, while Korea DPR defeated Ukraine 3-0 and Germany beat Belarus 3-0 in the other round-of-16 matches.

 

In the men’s competition, Portugal made the quarter-finals for the first time after a hard fought 3-1 victory over Poland, but their joy was short lived, as they lost 3-0 to hosts Japan in the quarter-finals later in the day.

 

Top seeds China won 3-0 against Austria, who had booked their place in the last eight by beating Greece earlier in the day. Austria’s Robert Gardos even held match point against Zhang Jike, but was unable to convert against the world and Olympic champion, as the defending champions booked their place in Sunday’s semi-finals.

 

World No. 1 Xu Xin said: “When Zhang Jike lost the second set of his match, perhaps he wasn’t playing as fluently as he’d like to, but I still believe our team will be able to persevere and do better.”

 

Chinese Taipei will take on Korea Republic and Germany face Singapore on Saturday in the remaining quarter-finals.

 

Source: ITTF

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