February 22, 2018

Heming Hu on his way to taking a game off the world number one. (Photo: Rémy Gros)

It was a rough ride for Australia in their opening encounters at the 2018 ITTF Team World Cup in London, England. Both the men’s and women’s teams went down 3-0. However, Heming Hu was able to step away from the court with a consolation prize.

When the Australian men faced off against Germany there was every chance one of them would be facing the world number one, Dimitrij Ovtcharov. That opportunity fell upon Hu. And while the match ultimately went the way of the German, Hu didn’t back down.

After dropping the two opening games 11-7 and 11-6, the Aussie found a way to penetrate the Ovtcharov’s defences and took the third game 8-11. Taking a game of the best player in the world is no mean feat, and should certainly bolster Hu’s confidence heading in to his next matches.

Status ultimately prevailed and the German was able to close the match out, taking the fourth game 11-4.

Germany won the other two encounters 3-0, with David Powell and Kane Townsend losing their doubles encounter against Ruwen Filus and Patrick Franziska 3-0 (12-10, 11-5, 11-1), while Townsend couldn’t get passed Franziska in singles, also losing 3-0 (11-6, 11-6, 11-6).

Meanwhile in the Women’s Teams, Australia faced Chinese Taipei. Parleen Kaur and Melissa Tapper teamed up in the doubles, and went down to Chen Szu-Yu and Cheng Hsien-Tu 3-0 (11-5, 11-4, 11-6). Jian Fang Lay was next u to the plate against world number eight, Cheng I-Ching. Lay showed that she is still a contender against anyone on the international stage. The Aussie veteran was able to take a game off Cheng, before succumbing 3-1 (11-3, 11-4, 3-11, 11-6). Chen Szu sealed Australia’s fate, defeating Melissa Tapper 3-0 (11-5, 11-2, 11-6)

Check out the results from Day 1 here.

Parleen Kaur and Melissa Tapper facing Chinese Taipei. (Photo: Rémy Gros)