Titles for Guangdong and Hebei, defeats for Ma Long and Chen Meng
Guangdong and Hebei won the respective men’s and women’s team titles at the 2020 Chinese National Championships, staged on Sunday 4th October, at the Weihai Nanhai Olympic Centre in Shandong Province.
Notably, the outcomes were decided in very different fashions; Hebei recorded a three-nil success in opposition to Shandong; conversely, Guangdong required the full five matches to claim gold. Moreover, there were defeats for Ma Long, the reigning Olympic and World champion, as well as for Chen Meng who sits at the top of the Women’s World Rankings.
In the men’s event, on duty for Beijing, Ma Long gave his team the perfect start by beating Zhou Qihao in four games to be followed by Wang Chuqin who accounted for Lin Gaoyuan in a similar fashion to establish a two matches to nil lead.
It was at that stage, the tables turned and experience counted. Zhang Chao, the mixed doubles winner in partnership with Cao Zhen at the GAC Group 2011 World Championships in Rotterdam, reduced the overall fixture deficit by overcoming teenager, Liu Yebo by three games to one, before Lin Gaoyuan hit form to cause a major upset. He accounted for Ma Long in five games to level matters.
The outcome on the proverbial knife-edge, Zhou Qihao overcame Wang Chuqin to complete the recovery and secure the title for Guangdong.
Defeat for Ma Long, it was the same in the women’s final for Chen Meng, as Shandong suffered a three-nil defeat at the hands of Hebei. In the second match of the fixture, facing He Zhoujia, Chen Meng experienced a 3-1 defeat, the close to the table style of Hebei player, who uses long pimpled rubber on the backhand, causing the world’s leading lady a host of problems. However, after losing the opening two games and the winning the third, it seemed she had found answers; she led 7-3 only to lose the next six points and the match 17-15.
Earlier, Sun Yingsha had beaten Gu Yuting in the opening match; in the concluding contest, Zang Xiaotong accounted for Wang Xiaotong to seal the victory.
Attention now turns to the individual events.
Men’s Team – Final
Guangdong 3-2 Beijing
Zhou Qihao v Ma Long 1-3
Lin Gaoyuan v Wang Chuqin 1-3
Zhang Chao v Liu Yebo 3-1
Lin Gaoyuan v Ma Long 3-2
Zhou Qihao v Wang Chuqin 3-1
Women’s Team – Final
Hebei 3-0 Shandong
Sun Yingsha v Gu Yuting 3-1
He Zhuojia v Chen Meng 3-1
Zang Xiaotong v Wang Xiaotong 3-0
Editor: Ian Marshall