Men's World Cup Day 1
Day 1 Review
Thursday, October 31, 2002
ITTF Press Releases
Primorac on the edge
Jinan, China, 31 October 2002. Segun TORIOLA (NGR) was very close to opening the Men’s World Cup with a major upset. In the very first match at the World Cup TORIOLA had 3-1 and 8-4 in the 5th game against Croatian star Zoran PRIMORAC.
PRIMORAC however caught him at 9-9 and took the close game. That changed the match. PRIMORAC gained confidence and he won the last two games easily.
TORIOLA however proved that he can play with the best. He qualified for the World Cup as the African Champion but he also won the Commonwealth Championships.
Against PRIMORAC he was able to match the Croatian in the topspin to topspin rallies. Before it was too late however PRIMORAC found out that he should force TORIOLA into the short game and sometimes wait for the African to open the attack.
In the second opening match CHIANG Peng-Lung (TPE) lived up to his role as the favourite against Canadian Johnny HUANG. CHIAN won 4-1.
World Champion on the bench
Jinan, China, 31 October 2002. Former World Champion LIU Guoliang (CHN) stopped his career three months ago. Now he is back – but on the bench.
At the Men’s World Cup he has his international debut as a coach. He was on the bench to help MA Lin through his first match.
LIU Guoliang is still in his mid twenties but with World Championships titles and Olympic medals in his bag he should have a lot of experience to give good advice.
Anyway LIU Guoliang did not “mess up” his first international assignment. MA Lin won 4-1 over Hugo HOYAMA (BRA).
Until now there has been no upsets at the World Cup. The players seeded nr. 4 in the groups have played well but only Segun TORIOLA (NGR)was close to victory against Zoran PRIMORAC (CRO) – without getting it.
Boll too fast
Jinan,China, 31 October 2002. As Nr. 3 in the World young German star Timo BOLL is the highest seeded European at the Men’s World Cup – and until now BOLL has lived up to his status.
With two victories BOLL is well on his way to the quarter finals. First BOLL beat the North American Champion Johnny HUANG (CAN) 4-1, and then Jean-Michel SAIVE (BEL), also 4-1.
The two matches were alike in the sense that BOLL was too fast for both opponents. Jean-Michel SAIVE needs time to get into the rallies, and BOLL’s aggressive attitude already on the first ball created problems for the Belgian. SAIVE won the first game but after that he was only close in the 4th game where he had two game points – but lost. That was it. Boll took the 5th game easily to win the match
Kong still in
Jinan, China, 1 November 2002. KONG Linghui (BRA) still has a good chance to qualify for the quarter finals at the World Cup. On Friday morning he made up for Thursday’s defeat to compatriot MA Lin by beating Hugo HOYAMA (BRA) 4-1.
Now KONG has to beat KIM Taek Soo (KOR) in his last group match later on Friday in order to advance.
African Champion Segun TORIOLA (NGR) again on Friday made an excellent performance, this time against Kalinikos KREANGA (GRE). Both players like to play topspin away from the table, and they gave the Chinese crowd a spectacular experience. KREANGA went to 2-0, but TORIOLA came back to 2-2. At the end however KREANGA’s international experience paid off, and he won 4-2.
Related Articles:Timo Boll wins Men's World Cup
Boll gave Wang a lesson