By Kirill Pirogov
The Volkswagen Cup, hosted by German Braunschweig, featured sixteen of the world’s best table tennis players (eight men and women). The tournament was especially interesting, since each country was represented by just one man and woman. Belarusian Vladimir Samsonov was among them.
The tournament’s clear rules operated without a group stage, beginning immediately with play-offs. In the quarter-finals, Vladimir once again defeated Korean Joo Se Hyuk (whom he has defeated three times in his past three matches). The spectacular match saw Samsonov attacking swiftly, leaving his rival no option but to defend himself. From time to time, the Korean made progress but Vladimir’s superiority was evident.
In the semi-finals, Vladimir faced Chinese Ma Long, who has defeated him in nine out of 13 previous matches.
Once again, the Chinese player claimed victory in the semi-finals and was awarded a silver medal. German Timo Boll won the tournament overall.