Day four of the Liebherr 2018 World Team Table Tennis Championships will go down in table tennis history, as the day that North and South Korea again created a unified team.
The neighbouring countries declared that they didn’t want to compete against each other in their quarter-final match, and wanted to create a unified Korea team, the first time this has happened since 1991. The unified team, which will be simply known as Korea (COR) face Japan who have yet to drop a game, in the semi-final tomorrow 4 May, 11am Swedish time (GMT +2).
The other semi-final will take place between Hong Kong, who took down European Champion Romania 3-1 and top seed China who knockout Austria 3-0 in their quarter-final clash.
In a full distance duel, the Brazilian Men’s team came back from 1-2 matches down to beat Croatia 3-2 and set up a quarter-finals meeting with top seed Germany. World number 12 Hugo CALDERANO was the hero for the Brazilian team securing 2 points before Gustavo TSUBOI recovered from 0-2 to defeat Tomislav PUCAR 3-2 to seal the final victory.
The Swedish men’s team continued their dream run at home, beating Chinese Taipei 3-1 in front of a packed home crowd. The reward for the Swedes in a quarter-final clash with 2016 bronze medallists England, who shocked Japan earlier in the week to secure a direct berth to the quarter-finals.
Japan bounced back from their loss against English to easily beat the dangerous Hong Kong 3-0 to set up a match with Korea Republic.
Austria survived a close encounter 3-2 against Portugal to set up a meeting with defending Champion China in the men’s team quarter-finals.
The 72 teams here in Halmstad are split into three divisions, with the top 24 teams in the Championship Division battling to become World Champion. The first stage of the event consists of the 24 teams being split into four groups of six teams. The top two team in the group progresses straight the quarter-finals, while the second and third placed team having to play a knockout in the last 16 to make their way into the quarter-finals.
The Liebherr 2018 World Team Table Tennis Championships action continues tomorrow, 4 May with the Women’s team semi-finals & Men’s team quarter-finals:
11:00 (Local Time) Women’s Team Semi-finals: Korea VS Japan
11:00 (Local Time) Men’s Team Quarter-finals: Austria VS China
14:30 (Local Time) Women’s Team Semi-finals: China VS Hong Kong
14:30 (Local Time) Men’s Team Quarter-finals: Japan VS Korea Republic
18:00 (Local Time) Men’s Team Quarter-finals: England VS Sweden
18:00 (Local Time) Men’s Team Quarter-finals: Germany VS Brazil