A Full House to China, 5 Gold 5 Silver Medals

 

27th May 2007

By Malcolm Macfarlane

The semi finals in the morning only served to set up the complete set of Chinese dominance at the Liebherr World Table Tennis Championships in Zagreb, 5 Gold medals, 5 Silver medals. The last non Chinese opponents were dispatched in the semi finals.

In the Womenís Doubles, Wang Nan and Zhang Yining of China were far to strong for Li Jia Wei and Wang Gue Gu of Singapore winning by 4 sets to 1. in the bottom half the singles finalists Gou Yue and Li Xiaoxia from China had to work a little harder to beat the Korean defensive duo of Kim Kung Ah and Park Mi Jung, but they succeeded 4 sets to 2.

In the Menís Singles Semis the top half was all Chinese and no 1 seed Ma Lin was just that bit stronger than Wang Hao running out a 4 set to 2 winner. The last Non Chinese opponent left was Ryu Seung Min of Korea who had to face the No 2 seed Wang Liqin. Ryu started well taking the first set but the next two went for Wang Liqin, a tight fourth set went to the Korean and the next two were shared. In the seventh set Wang Liqin really pulled out his most powerful game to take it 11-7.

The Womenís Doubles final was all one way traffic, The Senior partners Wang Yan and Zhang Yining seemed determined to put the Junior pair, Guo Yue and Li Xiaoxia, in their place. Four straight sets and the many times champions Wang Nan and Yhang Yuning were World Table Tennis Womenís Doubles champions for the third successive time and for Guo Yue it was the third successive silver medal with two different partners - her time will come in the doubles as it has in the singles.

Last match of this years championships, Ma Lin of China - no 1 seed, and World No 1 against Wang Liqin of China - the no 2 Seed and World No 2, in a see saw battle it looked that Ma Lin's speed and large forehand would outmanoeuvre Wang Liqin's even larger forehand but although Ma Lin took a 3-1 advantage it was soon pulled back to 3-3. All to play for in a final set, Wang Liqin took an early 5-2 advantage and carried on with some unbelievable forehand driving to lead 10-6.

One chance was all that was needed as a deep backhand to the corner evaded Ma Lin on the next point. Wang Liqin was World Champion again, for the third time, having won in 2001, 2005 and now in 2007.

Results

Womenís Doubles

Semi Finals

WANG Nan/ZHANG Yining CHN beat
 LI Jia Wei/WANG Yue Gu SIN  11-1,11-9,7-11,11-8,11-9

GUO Yue / LI Xiaoxia beat
 KIM Kyung Ah/PARK Mi Young KOR  11-4,10-12,12-10,5-11,7-11,3-11

Final

WANG Nan/ZHANG Yining CHN beat
 GUO Yue / LI Xiaoxia    11-5,11-6,13-11,11-9

Menís Singles

Semi Finals

MA Lin (CHN) beat WANG Hao (CHN)  6-11, 11-9, 12-10, 4-11, 11-9, 11-6

WANG Liqin (CHN) beat RYU Seung Min (KOR) 6-11, 11-3, 11-7, 14-16, 11-6, 10-12, 11-7

Final

MA Lin (CHN) lost to WANG Liqin (CHN)  11-4,11-8,5-11,11-4,9-11,8-11,6-11 

(photo courtesy of the ITTF)