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Team World Cup Glory For Chinese Men’s Squad

(Photo: ITTF)

China successfully defended their Men’s Team title at the 2018 Team World Cup following a magnificent display against Japan in the final.

Taking place at the Copper Box Arena in London on 25th February the final saw the top two seeded nations go head-to-head for the trophy, but despite just the one seeding position separating China and Japan there was a clear winner.

The gold medal match got underway with doubles action as the partnership of Ma Long and Xu Xin stormed to a straight games victory over Jin Ueda and Koki Niwa (11-8, 11-9, 11-7) to put China ahead.

Fan Zhendong then represented China in the opening singles tie of the match, meeting 14-year-old teenage star Tomokazu Harimoto in what was anticipated to be a tough test for the World No.2.

However, Tomokazu Harimoto failed to find his footing in the tie, paving the way for Fan Zhendong to register a 3-0 win (11-8, 11-9, 11-7).

“It is the first time that I have played Tomokazu, I prepared thoroughly and focused on just playing one point at a time. Before every match, in the Chinese team we always prepare and study videos.” – Fan Zhendong

Ma Long then completed the victory for China with a four games triumph over Koki Niwa (11-8, 3-11, 11-5, 11-3) to secure the top step of the medals podium.

“It is quite normal to lose a game, in the second game Koki Niwa played very well; I kept my focus and came through; now I need to get some sleep, last night in the hotel there was a fire alarm. Now I look forward to the next big match.” – Ma Long 

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