Table Tennis : Japanese Men Lose In Semis At Team Worlds

Table tennis : Japanese men lose in semis at team worldsJapan lost to host Germany 3-1 in the men's semifinals to settle for a bronze medal at the world team table tennis championships Saturday.

Japanese No. 1 Jun Mizutani, ranked eighth in the world, lost both of his matches in straight sets -- to 10th-ranked Dimitrij Ovtcharov in the opening match and sixth-ranked Timo Boll in the fourth match.

There is no third-place contest between the losing teams of the semifinals.

Boll defeated 17-year-old Koki Niwa to give Germany a 2-0 lead before Japan pulled one back with Seiya Kishikawa's win over Patrick Baum.

But Boll, a former world No. 1 player, sealed Germany's move to the final by beating Mizutani 11-6, 11-8, 13-11.

"I just wasn't good enough to overcome the pressure," Mizutani said. "I made errors when I need points. You just can't win a table tennis match when you fail to get points in key situations."

Japan finished with bronze for the third time in a row in the men's event of the team worlds. The country last reached the final at the 1977 meet in Birmingham, England.