Wednesday was fatal to the last French representatives at the World Table Tennis Championships in Durban (South Africa), and in particular to the Lebrun brothers.
As has been the case for 26 years, and the bronze medal won in men’s doubles by Jean-Philippe Gatien and Damien Eloi in 1997 in Manchester, France left the table tennis world championships empty-handed. The five tricolors still in the running on Wednesday at the Worlds in Durban (South Africa) have indeed all been eliminated. Starting with the Lebrun brothers, both beaten in the round of 16. Alexis (19), seeded No. 19, suffered the law of Slovenian Darko Jorgic (No. 13) in four sets: 11-8, 11-7, 11-4, 12-10. “I had to avoid giving pace to Alexis at all costs, he’s a player who is very strong in this area of play,” said the Slovenian after the match. He was starting to hit well at the end, we saw that. If I gave him a few easy balls, it was hard behind. That was the key to this game. His younger brother Felix (16) held up better against the No. 9 seed, German table tennis player Dang Qiu, only losing in six sets: 11-7, 11-8, 8 -11, 8-11, 11-8, 11-9.
Yuan misses two match points
On the women’s singles side, our last representative Jianan Yuan, seeded n°16, came very close to qualifying against a lower ranked player, the South Korean Yubin Shin. She did not yield until the end of the seventh set, lost 12-10 after missing two match points: 9-11, 11-9, 11-9, 8-10, 9-11, 11-5, 12-10. Finally, the Worlds also ended in mixed doubles for Prithika Pavade and Simon Gauzy, seeded n°40. They lost in the quarter-finals against the Chinese pair (n°7) Man Kuai – Shidong Lin with the final score of 11-6, 11-7, 8-11, 11-9. No medal, therefore, for the French delegation in these 2023 world championships. It hopes to catch up on the occasion of the Euro, scheduled for September 10 to 17 in Malmö in Sweden. During the last edition, the Lebrun brothers won bronze in doubles, and the pair Emmanuel Lebesson – Jianan Yuan was crowned in mixed doubles.