SHAH ALAM: The Malaysian men and women’s squads ended their campaign in the 2016 World Team Table Tennis Championship (WTTC) Thursday, suffering 0-3 defeats to Chinese Taipei and Poland respectively.
In the women’s 13-24th place classification matches, 2015 Singapore SEA Games bronze medallist, Ho Ying brought cheer to the local fans by winning the first set 11-9 against Katarzyna Grzybowska, but lost the following sets 4-11, 4-11 and 6-11 at Malawati Stadium, here.
In the second singles, SEA Games silver medallist, Ng Sock Khim failed to make an impact, losing 9-11, 3-11 and 6-11 to Klaudia Kusinska, followed by Amanda Wong Ee Ling’s 2-11, 7-11 and 5-11 surrender to Natalia Bajor in the third game.
Later, the men’s team also faced the exit at the same stage when Muhammad Ashraf Haiqal lost 6-11, 9-11 and 12-14 to Chiang Hung-Chieh, Leong Chee Feng lost 5-11, 6-11, 11-7 and 2-11 to Yang Tzu-Yi followed by Muhd Sakirin Ibrahim’s 5-11, 2-11 and 8-11 defeat to Liao Cheng-Ting.
This means the men’s and women’s teams will be ranked between 21-24th in the world meet.
National coach Beh Lee Wei praised the paddlers for putting up a good fight against the world’s best paddlers, especially the men’s team.
“I expected the women’s team to perform better but the men’s team did better. The boys played very well this time, they can fight with top players but they lacked experience and exposure,” said the member of 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games silver medal winning team.
The women’s team, ranked 43 in the world, suffered 0-3 defeats in all five Group A matches, to China, Chinese Taipei, Romania, Hungary and Spain, while the men’s team, ranked 56th, suffered 0-3 defeats to Germany, Sweden, France and England as well as 1-3 defeat to England in Group B.
The women and men’s teams which played in the second and third divisions respectively, were given the opportunity to play in the First Division, which is also known as the Championship Division by virtue of being the host nation.
The best achievement of the women’s team at the WTTC 2000 was when Malaysia hosted the tournament and finished in 16th place while men’s team achieved 18th place in the 1973 edition.
A total of 99 countries, consisting of 81 women’s teams and 91 men’s teams are vying for the world title and ranking in four different divisions, namely championships, second, third and fourth division at the weeklong tournament hosted by the Table Tennis Association of Malaysia (TTAM).