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WTTC Star Players - Sayaka Hirano, Michael Maze

WTTC 2008 Star Players - Sayaka Hirano, Michael Maze

Twenty-two year old Sayaka Hirano and twenty-six year old Michael Maze were the stars of proceedings at the Evergrande World Team Championships in Guangzhou on Tuesday 26th February 2008; both remained unbeaten as they steered Japan and Denmark respectively to thrilling victories.

Match of the Tournament
Sayaka Hirano beat both Moon Hyun Jung and Dang Ye Seo in Japanís nerve tingling three-two win over Korea in the Womenís Team Championship Division.

It was the match of the tournament so far, with proceedings ending in dramatic fashion. Ai Fukuhara saved one match point against the luckless Moon Hyun Jung to secure victory in a contest that lasted over three hours; for Korea Dang Ye Seo beat Ai Fukuhara and Lee Eun Hee accounted for Haruna Fukuoka.

Maze and Tugwell Showed their Best against Hong Kong
Two vital wins by Sayaka Hirano secured success for the fourth seeds, whilst wins from Michael Maze over Cheung Yuk and Li Ching paved the way for Danish glory in the Menís Team Championship Division against Hong Kong. The one further victory for the European nation came from Finn Tugwell over Li Ching in the three-two verdict.

Success for Denmark against higher rated opposition but that was the only notable upset of the third dayís play. In the Menís Team event, the top four seeded teams all ended the day with their unbeaten records in tact.

The Favourites are still on the Right Track
Top seeds, China overwhelmed Croatia by three matches to nil, second seeds Korea inflicted the same punishment on Sweden, whilst third seeds Germany secured a three-one win over France and Singapore overcame Greece without the loss of a single individual match.

In the Womenís Team event it was the same story with the hitherto unbeaten teams in each of the four first stage groups facing each other.

Top seeds China underlined their status as the clear favourites to retain the title won two years ago in Bremen, Germany by overcoming the United Stated three-nil, whilst second seeds Singapore did likewise against Hungary and Hong Kong repeated the dose against Germany.

ITTF Press Release


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