Samsonov stuns Olympic TT Champion Zhang Jike
Qingdao (China), March 17 (IANS): World No. 11 Vladimir Samsonov of Belarus upset China’s Olympic champion Zhang Jike 3-2 at the Asia-Europe Table Tennis All Stars Challenge here.
Zhang, the Grand Slam winner, won the first game with 12-10, but lost the following two with 11-13 and 9-11 in a match played Saturday night.
Falling behind 4-9 in the fourth game, Zhang scored five points in a row to tie the game and then win it 12-10.
Samsonov got three points consecutively when the fifth game was tied at seven-all, before securing the victory with 11-8.
“I got problem with my physical energy as I didn’t have time to do a systemic training before the game,” Zhang said.
“Samsonov is a great player and losing to him isn’t unexpected.”
In other matches, Jun Mizutani of Japan beat Austrian Chen Weixing 3-1, Joo Saehyuk from South Korea lost to Crisan Adrian of Romania 0-3, Germany Ovtcharov Dimitrij won over world No. 6 Chuang Chih-Yuan of Chinese Taipei 3-0 and Jiang Tianyi from Hong Kong defeated Freitas Marcos of Portugal 3-2.
In the five matches of the first day, the Asian Team fell behind 2-3.
“It becomes difficult for us to win the game as we are one point behind. We will do our best to overturn the European Team,” said Xiao Zhan, the coach of the Asian Team.
Starting from 2009, the Asia – Europe Table Tennis All Stars Challenge is an annual event with the first round held in an Asian city and the second one held in Europe.