Table Tennis World Cup Tournament Day 3 Victories & Challenges

On the electrifying day 3 of the tournament, Shusuke Togami continued his winning streak, building on the momentum from the previous day. In a thrilling victory over 10th seed Dang Qiu, he secured his spot in Stage 2, prevailing 3-1 (11-5, 7-11, 12-10, 11-0) in a significant upset. This win catapulted him to the top of group 11 rankings and guaranteed his place in the round of 16 after his impressive win against Ahmed Salah on day 2 (11-9, 4-11, 11-3, 11-4). Togami will now face 2023 Africa Cup winner Omar Assar in the round of 16.

Togami shared his thoughts on the unique playing system, “This time we have a very special playing system with matches containing only four games. This creates a unique sense of tension and a different atmosphere than usual. It’s my first time playing on the big stage of the World Cup, and I’ve approached my matches with a challenger’s mindset. I’d rate my performance at about 90 out of 100. From quarterfinals onwards, we’ll return to the usual rules where players compete in best of 7 matches. I’ll maintain my current approach and once again adopt a challenger’s mindset to fight hard in the next stage.”

In another remarkable feat, Suthasini Sawettabut advanced through group 7 as the third seeded player in her Women’s World Cup debut. Securing two games against both 8th seed Mima Ito and Amy Wang, Sawettabut secured her top position through her winning win-to-loss points ratio of 1.06, narrowly defeating Ito (0.99) and Wang (0.96). Sawettabut will now face defending champion Chen Meng in a challenging round of 16 match.

In a nail-biting showdown, Darko Jorgic clashed with Lee Sang Su in a closely contested match. Despite the intense pressure, Jorgic claimed two games to draw with Lee with a score of 11-9, 10-12, 11-3, 5-11. Jorgic narrowly clinched victory by edging out Lee by a mere 2 points, sealing his place in the round of 16. Jorgic will face off with Lin Gaoyuan tomorrow.

Jorgic expressed his relief, “I’m happy that I went through. I think I was really lucky with just 2 points. I also spoke with Lee. When you are down, you are just thinking how many points you need to win against him. I just stopped counting how many points, then it was going very fast. I’m just happy and lucky that in the end I’m through this group. I know [stage 2] is really tough. All the opponents are really strong. I just hope for my best performance, I hope tomorrow I am showing a better performance.”

Closing off Stage 1, Sofia Polcanova secured her ticket to the round of 16 by a mere one-point margin, underlining the critical importance of every point in this thrilling new system. In a fiercely contested battle, Polcanova and Nina Mittleham engaged in an intense match that had spectators on the edge of their seats. Despite the immense pressure, Polcanova displayed remarkable composure and resilience, securing two crucial games to draw against Mittleham and accumulated 39 points, just one more point than Mittleham to book her place in the main draw in her fifth Women’s World Cup appearance. Polcanova will encounter Adriana Diaz in the round of 16.

Polcanova shared her thoughts, “During the last game, I didn’t even know that I won the decisive point. I was not counting. I was just trying to play my match.. Today, I think I had a little bit more luck. It could have gone either way, but today a little luck was more on my side. I think I will try to give my best [in the main draw], everybody here is very good. This is world class level, and we will see who I will play against and then let’s see.”

The intensity is set to heat up over the next few days in Macao, as the tournament enters the knockout stage to determine the Men’s and Women’s World Cup Champions.

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