Left or right, choose Wong Chun Ting
China’s Xu Xin is the best doubles player in the world; it’s a theory propounded time and time again, reading his results it’s very difficult to argue against that fact but does he have a major contender for the accolade?
Step forward, Hong Kong’s Wong Chun Ting.
Both are pen-hold grip players, the method of holding a table tennis racket that over the years has been perceived as extremely effective when playing over the table, near the net, returning short or creating deft angles and thus opportunities in doubles for your partner.
Xu Xin and Wong Chun Ting are most adept at extolling those skills, but does Wong Chun Ting have an added ingredient to his repertoire? Being left handed, always Xu Xin partners a right hander; for Wong Chun Ting, being right handed, he has proved successful with whatever hand his partner chooses.
Competing on the ITTF World Tour, he has reached six finals in liaison with a left hander. On duty with Jiang Tianyi, in 2012 he won in Germany; in harness with Ho Kwan Kit, he succeeded in 2016 in Slovenia, 2018 on home soil in Hong Kong and one year later in Qatar.
Meanwhile, in 2017 in Sweden and 2018 in Daejeon, with Ho Kwan Kit, the duo emerged silver medallists. Likewise, at the ITTF World Tour Grand Finals, they were the runners up in Astana in 2017 and one year later in Incheon.
Equally partnering a right hander, Wong Chun Ting has enjoyed notable success. In harness with Tang Peng, the pair reached three ITTF World Tour men’s doubles finals and won them all! They prevailed in 2014 in Spain, Australia and Russia.
Three titles with one right hander, with another it is four in number. Partnering Doo Hoi Kem, the mixed doubles record stands amongst the very best.
In 2018 they beat the combination of Korea Republic’s Jang Woojin and DPR Korea’s Cha Hyo Sim to secure the title at the 2018 Grand Finals, before on the ITTF World Tour succeeding in 2019 in the Korea Republic and Australia, as well as last year in Hungary.
Notable wins but more importantly not the pairs they beat in the final. In Hungary they accounted for Germany’s Patrick Franziska and Petrissa Solja, in Australia Japan’s Jun Mizutani and Mima Ito, in the Korea Republic China’s Xu Xin and Liu Shiwen.
All three pairs are destined for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, Xu Xin and Liu Shiwen are the reigning world champions and their defeat against Wong Chun Ting and Doo Hoi Kem, is their only ever defeat as a pair on the international stage!
Credit must be given to his colleagues with whom he has enjoyed success but need a partner, whether you are right or left handed, would Wong Chun Ting not be your first choice?
Editor: Ian Marshall