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Chengdu, Dec 7 – China sailed past Slovakia 8-1 as the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) Mixed Team World Cup entered its second stage in Chengdu, southwest China’s Sichuan Province.

Eight advancing teams were confirmed to form a single group after two days of action on Tuesday, while teams that faced each other in the first stage won’t face each other again, with their head-to-head results carried over to the second stage.

Already with an 8-0 win-loss record in games registered from their victory over Sweden in the first stage, Group 1 top finisher China kept rolling in its duel against Slovakia, pulling ahead 2-1 as Lin Gaoyuan and Wang Yidi rallied past Jakub Zelinka and Tatiana Kukulkova 12-14, 11-6 and 11-7.

“Today our pairing was fine, but I was a bit tense and didn’t execute quite well enough in the first game,” admitted Wang.

Wang Manyu went on to claim three more games in the women’s singles match, beating Barbora Balazova 11-4, 11-2, 11-6.
World No. 1 Fan Zhendong sealed the deal for the hosts in the men’s singles by outlasting chopper Wang Yang 11-7, 11-7, 11-4.

“I did well in my serves, but might be too cautious in my reception. After winning the first game, I began to feel more relaxed,” commented Fan.

Japan also notched a lop-sided victory, crushing Chinese Taipei 8-0.

World No. 2 mixed doubles pair Tomokazu Harimoto and Hina Hayata set the tone for Japan with an 11-6, 11-5, 11-5 victory.

“As every game counts in the second stage, we try to get as many points as we can. I’m happy that we won 8-0 in the end,” said Hayata.
Miu Hirano and Ryoichi Yoshiyama didn’t leave many chances for their opponents to turn the tide in their respective singles matches.

Also on Wednesday, South Korea dispatched France 8-5, and Sweden outplayed Germany 8-4.

China, Japan and South Korea currently rank top three in the standings with two match wins.

China will take on Chinese Taipei and France on Thursday.

The tournament will conclude on Sunday. After the round-robin second stage, the team with the best overall result will be crowned the first ITTF Mixed Team World Cup winner.