TOKYO, May 5 (Xinhua) -- China beat Germany 3-1 to defend the Swaythling Cup at the World Table Tennis Championships here on Monday.
Ma Long beat Timo Boll 3-1 to open the winning way for China. Four years ago in Moscow, Ma led Boll 2-0 in the final but failed to win. This time he didn't waste the chance and won 11-6, 11-9 and 11-9.
But Germany quickly tied the score as Dimitrij Ovtcharov swept Zhang Jike 3-0. Zhang made too many fouls, losing in straight 11-13, 8-11 and 6-11.
Fortunately, Xu Xin put China in the leading position soon as he quickly beat Germany's rookie Patrick Franziska in three games. Xu never gave any chance to Franziska and only allowed 15 points for the young German. Xu won 11-5, 11-2 and 11-8.
Ma Long sealed the victory for the defending champions by beating Ovtcharov 3-0. After struggling to beat Ovtcharov 12-10 in the first game, Ma had a strong performance in the second and third game as Ovtcharov only scored seven points in two games.
It is the 19th time for China to win the Swaythling Cup and China also made history to win the title for the seventh consecutive time since 2001 in Osaka, Japan.
"The defeat is good for Zhang Jike," said Liu Guoliang, head coach of the Chinese team. "Though he won the world champion in Paris last year, Zhang didn't make much improvement after the London Olympics. The loss shows that there is still room for him to improve. If he can learn from the defeat, I'm sure that he will push himself to a new level. I have faith in him and this defeat won't affect it." [ "Though it is my third time to win the world championship, it's the first time for me to play in the final," said Xu Xin. "I've prepared for this moment for six years. I'm ready for it. That's why I totally controlled the match."
"I'm happy to beat Zhang Jike, the Olympic champion and the world champion, especially in 3-0. It might be my best match of life," said Ovtcharov, who earned Germany's only point. "But unfortunately, this is a team match. Germany lost."