Egypt caused one of the biggest upsets in table tennis history by beating Germany to progress to the semi-finals of the Times Property 2013 World Team Classic in Guangzhou, China on Saturday 30th March 2013.
The Egyptian team, represented by Omar ASSAR, El-Sayed LASHIN and Ahmed SALEH, outplayed and outshone the London 2012 Olympic team bronze medallists and no. 2 seeds. They won three-two to create an unthinkable semi-final against Chinese Taipei.
Omar ASSAR was the man who will forever go down in Egyptian table tennis folklore, holding his nerve and defeating Patrick FRANZISKA by three games to one to clinch the match and guarantee Egypt at least a bronze medal.
“We have won medals in African and Arab events, now for the first time we have won at a world event,” stated an emotional Assar OMAR.
El-Sayed LASHIN who won his singles match in five games against Bastian STEGER stated: “It is unbelievable that we have beaten Singapore and Germany and we are in the semi-finals at such a prestigious event.”
The Egyptian fairytale’s next chapter is against Chinese Taipei, led by World no.6 CHUANG Chih-Yuan, who easily accounted for Austria in the quarter-finals.
Brazil, the other success story of the tournament, looked like they may cause another upset when Cazuo MATSUMOTO, World no.91 played the match of his life to beat Jun MIZUTANI, World no.9.
However, it was not enough as Brazil, who eventually went down three-one but they will leave Guangzhou, with a myriad of new fans, due to the passion and dedication showed.
Japan will face a more daunting task in the semi-finals, as they take on the mighty China, who beat Korea three-nil in the quarter-finals.
The women’s quarter-finals went more to form. London 2012 silver medalists Japan managed to overcome Korea three-two, despite their star player Ai FUKUHARA, losing both her matches. Japan will play the team they beat in the London 2012 Olympic semi-finals, Singapore who easily accounted for the Netherlands three-one.
China progressed with ease over Germany three-nil and will play Hong Kong, after they beat the courageous Australian team three-nil.
Watch all the semi final action LIVE at ITTF.com/itTV starting from 5.00pm local time (+8 GMT).
For more information on the 2013 ITTF World Team Classic, please contact ITTF’s Promotion Manager Matt Pound at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About International Table Tennis Federation
The International Table Tennis Federation is responsible for the global sport of table tennis and has 217 affiliated National Associations. Table Tennis is an Olympic Sport, introduced at the 1988 Seoul Olympics Games. Table Tennis is also a Paralympic Sport.