Medallists decided at Chinese National Championships
Celebrated names progressed as the medallists in the men’s and women’s singles events, in addition to the men’s and women’s doubles, were decided at the Chinese National Championships in Weihai, Shandong Province, on Thursday 8th October.
At the semi-final stage of the men’s singles, Fan Zhendong meets Liang Jingkun, Wang Chuqin opposes Ma Long; in the women’s singles, it is Wang Manyu versus Chen Meng, Sun Yingsha in opposition to Gu Yuting.
Meanwhile, in the men’s doubles, Ma Long and Xu Xin confront defenders Ma Te and Hou Yingchao, Lin Gaoyuan and Liang Jingkun face Fan Zhendong and Wang Chuqin. In the women’s doubles penultimate round Chen Meng and Wang Manyu play teenagers Chen Yi and Kuai Man; either pen-holders Qi Fei and Zhang Qiang or Sun Yingsha and Wang Yidi await in the final.
At the quarter-final stage of the men’s singles, Fan Zhendong recorded a straight games win in opposition to Zhao Zihao; in the same half of the draw, in a rather closer contest decided in six games, Liang Jingkun ousted his doubles partner, Lin Gaoyuan. A close call and some concern, at the end of the fifth game Liang Jingkun called for a “medical time out”, feeling pain in his knee. After the break he showed no ill effects, the pause rather more precautionary than one of necessity.
Imposing performances, it was the same in the opposite half of the draw. In the round of the last eight, Wang Chuqin somewhat upset the order of merit by beating Xu Xin in five games, Ma Long showed no mercy overcoming Zhang Yudong in straight games. The outcome means that Beijing is guaranteed a place in the men’s singles final, both Ma Long and Wang Chuqin are from the country’s capital city.
Good form from Ma Long; in the women’s singles quarter-finals, it was the same from Wang Manyu. She recorded a straight games success against He Zhuojia and thus extracted revenge. Last year, at the same stage she had been beaten by He Zhuojia in six games.
A most worthy effort from Wang Manyu, it was the same from her semi-final opponent Chen Meng who faced a player surely destined for high honours. She beat Qian Tianyi, crowned world junior champion in 2018 in Bendigo, in five games, the opening game witnessing a total reversal of fortunes. Chen Meng trailed 3-10, then won nine points in a row to complete highway robbery.
In the adjacent half of the draw, Sun Yingsha secured a six games win in opposition to Chen Xingtong; in a full distance duel, Gu Yuting ended the hopes of Wang Yidi.
The semi-finals of the women’s singles and men’s doubles will be played on Friday 9th October, the same round in the men’s singles and women’s doubles on Saturday 10th October.
Editor: Ian Marshall