Five star men win Group H at WTTTC

Author:
Russell Moore

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Wednesday at the Liebherr 2012 World Team Table Tennis Championships proved to be a double-winning day with both the English men’s and women’s teams emerging victorious from their sole matches in Dortmund.

The men continued their impressive run with another 3-0 triumph, this time over Australia, while the women defeated group leaders Israel 3-2.

The men’s fifth successive win meant they topped their group and finished as one of the four seeded teams in the knock-out stage draw. This means they will have a bye in the first round.

They join the other top seeds; Brazil, Romania and Ukraine in winning their respective groups, however, only two of these sides will be guaranteed promotion come the end of the tournament.

England will first face either Iran or India on Friday at 12 noon before potentially facing the tough promotion-deciding tie against Romania at 6pm, who include Adrian Crisan (26). However, even if they don’t make the top two, they would still have a chance of promotion for 2014 if they are ranked higher than the teams who finish 19-24th in the Championship Division.

There’s nothing to say they won’t seal it here though as their progression through Group H saw them only drop one game (Paul Drinkhall’s defeat to Lashin El-Sayed yesterday).

The match against Australia started with the in-form William Henzell against the English number 1 Liam Pitchford. It was likely to be the toughest fixture of the match but try telling that to the young Derbyshire star! He swept Henzell aside with a dominant 3-0 (11-4, 11-7, 11-7) win to set England on their way to another victory. Pitchford, in fact, has won his last 12 games at the WTTTC after dropping his opening one to Cuba’s Jorge Campos.

His win was quickly followed up by victories for both Drinkhall and Andrew Baggaley who both wasted no time in defeating their lower ranked opponents. Australia will get their chance of revenge in June when they travel to Preston to take on Great Britain in an international friendly.

The women’s team meanwhile could bask in an entertaining 3-2 victory over Israel to end their Group E campaign on a high. Although they have missed out on promotion and will have to settle for places 37-48, they were much better this time around.

Joanna Parker’s double victory gave England the boost they needed, while Kelly Sibley recovered from an unbelievably tight first game defeat (14-12, 12-10, 22-20) to win the crucial last match – giving England the win.

The women will now face either Malaysia at 9am on Friday before likely taking on Egypt. If they win both of those game they could play Greece or Slovenia for 37th place, which would be a good finish to their tournament.

Men

England 3–0 Australia

L Pitchford bt William Henzell (152) 3-0 (11-4, 11-7, 11-7)

P Drinkhall bt Robert Frank (612) 3-1 (6-11, 11-3, 11-5, 13-11)

A Baggaley bt Trent Carter (551) 3-1 (12-10, 10-12, 11-6, 11-4)

Women

England 3-2 Israel

Nicole Trosman (335) bt K Sibley 3-0 (14-12, 12-10, 22-20)

J Parker bt Dana Saporta (u/r) 3-0 (11-8, 13-11, 11-4)

Natali Ruvman (u/r) bt J Dawson 3-2 (13-11, 9-11, 11-5, 9-11, 11-4)

J Parker bt Nicole Trosman 3-1 (11-7, 11-8, 7-11, 11-8)

K Sibley bt Dana Saporta 3-1 (11-4, 8-11, 11-2, 11-8)

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