China Pips Germany To Men’s Title At 2018 World Team Championships

(Photo: ITTF)

China has once again won the Men’s Championship Division title at the biggest team event in table tennis following a 3-0 victory over top seeds Germany on the final day of the 2018 World Team Table Tennis Championships.

Winners of the cup on 20 previous occasions, China has now extended its record to 21 in Halmstad and the outcome was never really in doubt as opponents Germany struggled to keep up in the final.

Last year at the 2018 Men’s World Cup Ma Long suffered a shock defeat to Timo Boll but there were no such issues for the Chinese star on the final day of the 2018 World Championships, defeating the German legend in straight games (11-4, 11-8, 11-3).

“I put Timo in the higher position, I watched him play yesterday and he played to a high level. Today I was very active. In these matches you need to be technically and mentally good, both are equally important; when I was losing in the second game I tried to take the initiative.” – Ma Long

China’s lead was soon doubled through Fan Zhendong, who accounted for Ruwen Filus with little difficulty (11-4, 11-5, 11-4) to put the team to within a win from the title.

“I have played against him before, so I was prepared, I was ready for any difficulties. Even when I was leading I knew that I must keep my concentration. Ruwen Filus is a player against whom you have to be patient; you must wait for the first opportunity to play an attacking stroke.” – Fan Zhendong

Making a slow start to the third fixture of the match, Xu Xin fell a game behind to Patrick Franziska but a strong response saw the master of pen-hold pick up three consecutive game wins against the German to complete the job (9-11, 12-10, 11-7, 11-5).

“I’m so happy, I was under pressure but I responded and the crowd supported me; when I was losing in the second game I knew I had my team mates to follow even if I lost but I believed in myself and I became more active.” – Xu Xin

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