On a day when we really needed a Portuguese hero to step forward and take the command, no one was to be found. With Portugal leading the team quarterfinal against Korea Republic two matches to one , both Joa MONTEIRO and Marcos FREITAS were asked , on two separate “occasions” to bring it home, but simply fell head first into the deep waters of doubt and negativism .
MONTEIRO brought both his team and the flag-waving Portuguese supporters to their feet’s when he came out flying and won the first game in the fourth match against the visibly nervous defensive artist JOO Seahyuk. But that was all he could muster – Monterio dug himself a deep hole by dropping the two following games easy and when a brave comeback fell just short in the fourth game the team match was tied at two.
JOO Seahyuk should by the way also receive some credit for a strong comeback and for keeping the Koreans hope alive – actually without even playing that well. It has been a struggle for him to find the good rhythm of defense here in London and he also looked nervous in the singles bowing out already in the opening round.
In the final and deciding match Marcos FREITAS spent the two first games ( -5 , -6 ) searching for the rhythm and when the good rallies finally arrived deep into the third game it was way too late against the experienced RYU Seungmin.
Honestly speaking (and that’s what the Eleven Point Blog is all about) we must question perhaps not the coaching between the third and the fourth game, but rather Marcos way of executing the agreed tactics in the start of the fourth game. What was he thinking? FREITAS started with way to high short return to Ryus forehand and quicker than lightning trailed 0-1. He then followed up with a short vs. short challenge in which he inexcusably gave away to the temptation and tried with an average deep cut in Ryus backhand corner = 0-2. On the two serves to follow, he put one into the net directly and lost one decent rally to start with a 0-4 deficit, something that he never recovered from. RYU Seungmin and Korea Republic is through to the semifinals and will play Hong Kong China tomorrow Monday.
In the other Men’s semi-final also scheduled for Tuesday the Excel N1 ticket holders will be treated to what could be the match of the competition of far. Let’s hope that the Germans and especially Timo BOLL wakes up tomorrow morning ready to go. This is the ultimate chance for Timo to play the role of a hero for the Germans.
Fight – Flight or Freeze? This is the question to answer for Jorg Rosskopf and his troops. Because expect one thing we can all do when it comes to the men and women in red. They have a long time ago decided on F-I-G-H-T and F-I-G-H-T only.
A long day of Table Tennis on this very Sunday 5 Th of August ended with a surprising Japanese blanking of Singapore in the Women’s semi-final. The victory for Japan doesn’t ring in as one of the bigger surprises at all – but way it all played out I would say stunned many of the 5000 spectators on hand and all the experts watching. Ai FUKUHARA started in convincing style and really set the tone for the Japanese girls when she won three games to one against FENG Tianwen. Kasumi ISHIKAWA then trashed a completely out of sync and tired WANG Yugue in three straight games to make it 2-0. In the doubles match to follow the Japanese pairing of Hirano and Ishikawa showed up with great confidence and smart doubles play to secure the team match three matches to nil and a stunning NINE games won and only ONE lost.
Final point to make for tonight , and why not use the rather old-fashioned forehand smash..? Most of my colleagues here in London are raving about the fact that Table Tennis has been sold out so far.. Tickets on request outside the building even – something unheard of for our sport these days. OK – yes it has been great – fantastic crowds coming out in good numbers. To tell you the truth ( and that’s what the Eleven Points Blog is all about ) ALL SPORTS have been almost sold out so far ..! So – we are in no means special from that point of view .
Even if Math – shall we say has never been my strongest discipline , I can still count with the help of a simple calculator . When it’s all said and done here in Excel on Wednesday, we have played competitive table tennis for twelve days split into 32 sessions .. We can then take ; 32 x 4500 = 144 000 to watch the Olympic Games Table Tennis.. Revenues for tickets sold is interesting and let’s go with an average of 70 US per ticket ( not cheap to watch the Games) and we arrive at more than 10 million US in revenues on Table Tennis alone..!?