Liverpool – GBR, Sept 29, 2012: Gold medallist in the Men’s Team event at the London 2012 Olympic Games; China’s MA Long, the top seed and favourite for the title, was beaten by Chinese Taipei’s CHUANG Chih-Yuan in the initial stage of proceedings at the LIEBHERR Men’s World Cup in Liverpool on Friday 28th September 2012.
CHUANG Chih-Yuan, making his eleventh consecutive appearance in the annual event, won in four straight games (11-9, 12-10, 11-7, 11-9).
It was the second match of the schedule for both players; both having recorded relatively comfortable wins earlier in the day. MA Long had beaten Romania’s Adrian CRISAN (11-6, 11-4, 7-11, 11-7, 11-9) and CHUANG Chih-Yuan had defeated England’s Paul DRINKHALL (11-6, 10-12, 13-11, 11-5, 11-4).
Defeat for MA Long but the door is not closed; the first two players from each of four groups, progress to the quarter-finals, the stage at which proceedings progress on a knock-out basis with a play-off match for third place.
The two wins recorded by CHUANG Chih-Yuan means that he is one of five players to end the first day unbeaten; the others are China’s XU Xin, Germany’s Timo BOLL, Korea’s JOO Saehyuk and Denmark’s Michael MAZE.
XU Xin, the no.2 seed, accounted for Portugal’s Marcos FREITAS (11-5, 11-7, 11-8, 11-4) and Vladimir SAMSONOV of Belarus (11-8, 6-11, 11-8, 11-9, 11-4), three times a winner of the tournament.
Meanwhile, following the withdrawal of Korea’s OH Sangeun owing to a shoulder injury Timo BOLL, the no.3 seed, was only required to pay one visit to the table; he beat Hong Kong’s JIANG Tianyi (11-9, 11-13, 11-8, 11-4, 11-4).
Success for Timo BOLL but for his German compatriot, Dimitrij OVTCHAROV, it was defeat; he was beaten by Michael MAZE (11-9, 11-7, 17-19, 7-11, 16-14, 11-8) on his one and only visit to the table and by JOO Saehyuk (13-11, 11-8, 14-12, 11-4).
Earlier JOO Saehyuk had overcome Brazil’s Thiago MONTEIRO, the winner of the Intercontinental Cup; an event where the continents of Africa, Latin America, North America and Oceania each have one representative.
Thiago MONTEIRO beat Egypt’s Ahmed SALEH (11-8, 8-11, 11-9, 11-3, 12-10), Canada’s Pierre-Luc THERIAULT (11-6, 11-4, 11-5, 9-11, 13-11) and Australia’s William HENZELL (11-8, 11-7, 11-9, 11-7).
It was the fourth time the Intercontinental Cup had been staged as part of the LIEBHERR Men’s World Cup and it has always been won by a player from Latin America; three times by a Brazilian.
Cazuo MATSUMOTO won and 2009, two years later Gustavo TSUBOI emerged victories; whilst in 2010 the title was claimed by Argentina’s LIU Song.
Thiago MONTEIRO maintained Latin American traditions and upheld Brazilian pride. —- ITTF/Photo by Steve Parkin