2019 ITTF-ATTU Asian Championships
Saturday 21st September
China’s adds to title all, Sun Yingsha in fast lane
Team titles secured earlier in the week, on Saturday 21st September, China added to their collection at the 2019 ITTF-ATTU Asian Championships in Yogyakarta on what proved a busy evening for Xu Xin, Liu Shiwen and Sun Yingsha; all three experiencing the joy of victory, the agony of defeat.
Xu Xin and Liu Shiwen beat Wang Chuqin and Sun Yingsha to secure mixed doubles gold (11-7, 7-11, 11-7, 11-9) to start the finals’ schedule on a high note but then experienced defeats. In the men’s doubles final, partnering Fan Zhendong it was defeat for Xu Xin when facing Liang Jingkun and Lin Gaoyuan (6-11, 11-9, 11-8, 11-7), before the evening concluded with Sun Yingsha accounting for Liu Shiwen (14-12, 11-8, 13-11) to win the women’s singles title.
The one common factor, in each instance it was gold and silver for China.
Earlier in the day, Liu Shiwen had beaten colleague Chen Meng, the top seed, in four games (11-9, 12-14, 11-2, 11-4), a contest in which she led 10-8 in the second game and then held two further game points before, at her first attempt Chen Meng converted. Win a close game and confidence blossoms, it proved to be the total opposite; Liu Shiwen accelerated, the place in the final secured.
The speed exerted by Liu Shiwen was a key factor, her close to the table counter attacking play quite outstanding; that skill was even more potent in the efforts of Sun Yingsha as she afforded compatriot, Ding Ning just four points in the opening two games. The reigning Youth Olympic Games champion gave the Rio 2016 Olympic Games gold medallist no time whatsoever to draw breath; Ding Ning, using her trademark so called tomahawk service technique, slowed matters, won the third game but was never able mount a memorable recovery. In four games (11-3, 11-1, 7-11, 11-9) booked her place in the final.
Impressive from China’s leading ladies, earlier in the afternoon it had hard fought success for their male counterparts.
At the semi-final stage of the men’s doubles event, Fan Zhendong and Xu Xin had been required to recover from a two games to nil deficit to secure success against Japan’s Shunsuke Togami and Maharu Yoshimura, the no.10 seeds (4-11, 10-12, 11-6, 11-6, 11-5). Conversely, Liang Jingkun and Lin Gaoyuan had been required to withstand a brave recovery by Hong Kong’s Lam Siu Hang and Ng Pak Nam, the no.12 seeds (11-5, 11-8, 9-11, 8-11, 11-4).
Play concludes on Sunday 22nd September; Japan tasked with the challenge of preventing a Chinese clean sweep.
At the semi-final stage of the women’s doubles event, Miu Hirano and Kasumi Ishikawa, the no.3 seeds, meet Chen Meng and Wang Manyu, the top seeds; Saki Shibata and Hitomi Sato, the no.5 seeds, confront Ding Ning and Zhuling, the no.2 seeds.
Meanwhile, in the men’s singles penultimate round, Tomokazu Harimoto flies the flag for the Land of the Rising Sun, the no.4 seed, he faces Xu Xin, the top seed; in the opposite half of the draw, Fan Zhendong, the no.2 seed and defending champion, confronts Lin Gaoyuan, the no.3 seed.
Play is scheduled to start at 1.00 pm (local time).