Ding Ning of China returns the ball during the fourth game against Doo Hoi Kem of Hong Kong, China at the Women's group semi-final match of 2018 World Team Table Tennis Championships in Halmstad, Sweden, May 4, 2018. Ding Ning won the game with 3-1, and team China won with 3-1. (Xinhua/Ye Pingfan)
HALMSTAD, Sweden, May 4 (Xinhua) -- South Korea, Sweden and Germany managed to join reigning champion China in the men's semifinals of the 2018 World Team Table Tennis Championships here on Friday.
Following the first quarterfinal in the morning session, in which China knocked out Austria, South Korea defeated Japan by 3-1.
Jeoung Youngsik who is in good shape, defeated Harimoto Tomokazu in the opening game through five sets.
However, South Korea's highest ranked Lee Songsu lost in another tough full-set-game to world No. 11 Mizutani Jun.
From the third game, South Korea took over momentum. Jang Woojin defeated Matsudaira Kenta by 3-1, then Jeoung Youngsik routed Mizutani Jun swiftly by 3-0.
"It was a tough match, our players all performed very well," South Korea coach Kim Taek Soo said after the match.
"The first game was of significant importance, wining it provided us with massive confidence," he added.
Host Sweden, which defeated Chinese Taipei through a knock-out match to this quarterfinal, continued their journey of the tournament past England. The No. 9 seed nailed down three games in a row.
"We know England very well, we practice together quite often," said Sweden coach Ulf Carlsson.
"Nevertheless, we didn't expect a 3-0 win like this, Liam Pitchford was unbeaten before this match, Mattias Karlsson did a fantastic job today," he added.
Talking about the coming semifinal against China, he said, "It's an honor to play the best team, we just need to go on with the energy and confidence we have now."
Germany fought for the last semifinal place versus Brazil. With the absence of injured Timo Boll, the No. 1 seed still managed to overcome their opponent by 3-1.
Ruwen Filus scored two points for the Swaythling Cup contender, while world No. 3 Dimitril Ovcharov collected one game. Germany will take up a showdown with South Korea in the semis.