The Olympic Table Tennis Singles Quarterfinals In Memes

All eight quarterfinal matches (four for men’s singles, four for women’s singles) for the table tennis event at the Tokyo Olympics were played on July 28. We recap key moments of the day’s action in the form of memes.

For some more serious reading, check out our preview of the Sun Yingsha vs Mima Ito semi-finals.

The full results are:

Yu Mengyu defeats Kasumi Ishikawa 4-1

Fan Zhendong defeats Jeoung Youngsik 4-0

Chen Meng defeats Doo Hoi Kem 4-2

Mima Ito defeats Jeon Jihee 4-0

Lin Yun-Ju defeats Darko Jorgic 4-0

Sun Yingsha defeats Han Ying 4-0

Ma Long defeats Omar Assar 4-1

Dimitrij Ovtcharov defeats Hugo Calderano 4-2

For the schedule of today’s semi-final and women’s medal matches converted into American timezones, see here.

Yu Mengyu Beats Kasumi Ishikawa 11-0…and Mima Ito Pays It Forward

Down 3-1, in Japan’s Kasumi Ishikawa’s final singles game of the Tokyo Olympics and likely her Olympic career, Ishikawa failed to score a single point as Singapore’s Yu Mengyu went up 10-0 before giving a mercy point. Japan’s Mima Ito was able to pay the favor forward, as she went up 10-0 in the second game against Korea’s Jeon Jihee before giving a mercy point. Jeon actually recovered quite decently, pushing Ito into deuce in the next game.

Fan Zhendong’s Galaxy Brain Time-out Against Jeoung Youngsik

When Fan Zhendong dropped a single point against Jeoung Youngsik after going up 9-5 and 2-0 in games and then called time-out, it was certainly one of the more interesting uses of a time-out.

One possible intuition behind the decision was that Fan knew that with the score in game 3 and the way both of them were playing, he was almost certain to beat Jeoung in both games 3 and 4. Jeoung’s only potential lifeline back into the match would be a mental collapse by Fan in game 3. Fan likely pre-emptively quashed any hopes for a Jeoung comeback by taking the time-out and steadying himself and preventing any possible comeback.

Regardless of what was going through Fan’s head when he called that time-out, it takes a certain amount of confidence in your superiority over your opponent to go for the 4-0 kill without thinking twice about no longer having a time-out in a potential game 6 or 7.

Fan’s decision worked out, as he won the third game 11-6 and the fourth game 11-5 for a clean 4-0 win.

Pantsgate Plagues Doo Hoi Kem Against Chen Meng

Doo Hoi Kem was feeling good after taking the first game and going up 4-1 in the second game. However, there was a sudden stoppage in play as someone suddenly noticed that her pants violated some Olympic code by having too many sponsored logos on it. Doo was forced to stop mid-game and put duct-tape on her shorts to cover the logo.

After the stoppage in play, Chen Meng immediately won three points to level the game. However, Doo was still able to pull out the win to take a 2-0 lead. The duct tape would continue to fall off and bother Doo between games, who appeared to eventually solve the problem by just rolling up her shorts or compression sleeves.

Ma Lin Relives 2008 Through Chen Meng

While Chen Meng and Doo Hoi Kem cho’d throughout their match, the biggest screamer was probably Ma Lin, who was coaching Chen. Ma Lin was constantly seen and heard jumping and screaming in support of Chen as she came back from down 2-0 to win 4-2, and his passion was duly noted by Adam Bobrow in the commentary.

Everything That One British NBC Commentator Guy Said

There was one British NBC commentator who is likely a very nice guy, but he had some interesting takes on table tennis. His top three moments are:

  • Spending twice as much time as he should have to explain why it’s important to wipe sweat off the table in the Fan Zhendong vs Jeoung Youngsik match
  • When a player served a half-long in Lin Yun-Ju’s 4-0 massacre of Darko Jorgic and the opponent opened, the commentator explained that the half-long was the worst possible serve and that players should only serve short or fast and long.
  • In the second half of the Dimitrij Ovtcharov vs Hugo Calderano match (after Calderano went up 2-0, Ovtcharov came back to win 4-2), with the momentum on Ovtcharov’s sideb Calderano broke out the simple dead/light backhand serve (giving Ovtcharov a taste of his own medicine), and Ovtcharov looped one serve out and then lost another two points later against that serve. However, after the first serve that Ovtcharov missed, the commentator called the serve “disrespectful” and implied it was a weak serve.

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If you are based in the United States, be sure to also check out our exclusive interview with Kanak Jha and a tournament that Edges and Nets will participate in hosting in San Diego in mid-August.