China's men's team win 9th consecutive title at table tennis worlds
Defeating Germany 3-0, defending champions China claimed their ninth consecutive title at men's final of the 2018 World Team Table Tennis Championships here on Sunday.
China, featuring veterans Ma Long, Xu Xin and world No.1 Fan Zhendong, confronted the tournament's No.1 seed represented by world No.2 Timo Boll teamed with Ruwen Filus and Patrick Franziska.
The final started as China captain Ma took on Boll in the most critical opening match.
Surprisingly, Ma breezed past the 37-year-old 11-4, 11-8, 11-3, giving China a precious advantage in the best of five showdown.
In the following match, 21-year world No. 1 wasted no time to demolish Filus in a convincing manner 11-4, 11-5, 11-4.
Franziska, who beat Jeoung Youngsik in deciding game of the semifinal, stepped up onto the court to prevent Germany from being swept out in the third match.
Confronting the good-shaped German, left-hander Xu Xin lost the first set 9-11. The second set was also a hard-fought one, which Xu won with a minimal margin 12-10.
The third set started with 6-6 tie, then the world No.4 penholder took control, winning by 11-7.
With a turning over to lead the game by 2-1, Xu became relaxed and collected the fourth set by 11-5, helping China raise the Swaythling Cup for the 21st time.
China captain Ma attributed the victory to the whole team. Asked about the Tokyo Olympics he said, "Two years is not long, also not short either, I need to plan for it, but first of all, I have to get the ticket to Tokyo."