China into table tennis team worlds' semis, Japan to play combined Korean team

Xinhua | Updated: 2018-05-04 09:34
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Players of China and Austria pose for photos after their women's group quarterfinal match during 2018 World Team Table Tennis Championships in Halmstad, Sweden, May 3, 2018. Team China won the match with 3-0. [Photo/Xinhua]

HALMSTAD, Sweden -- Routing Austria 3-0 here on Thursday, China will play the Hong Kong team in the women's semifinal of the 2018 World Team Table Tennis Championships.

Japan will take on the combined Korean team in another semifinal match.

It was an easy game for China as Liu Shiwen, Chen Meng, Wang Manyu breezed past their Austrian opponents all by 3-0.

On Friday, the defending champion will play Hong Kong, China, who defeated European champion Romania 3-0 in the quarters.

Title contender Japan, represented by Ishikawa Kasumi, Hirano Miu and Ito Mima, beat Ukraine in the quarters and will meet the combined Korean team in the semis.

DPR Korea and South Korea were supposed to compete against each other in a quarterfinal match scheduled in the morning session. Instead, the players of both teams marched into the venue, shook hands and posed for photos.

The International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) announced subsequently that the two teams from the Korean Peninsula had decided to merge into one.

The combined Korean team advanced to semifinal automatically.

"I was a little bit surprised when I heard about it," said Ishikawa after the match against Ukraine.

"However, since the ITTF had made its decision, what we need to do is get prepared for the semifinal," the world No 3 added.

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