Safe & Sure Gao Ning Books
Guangzhou Final Place at Expense of Ko Lai Chak
Singapore’s Gao Ning, the winner of the Men’s Singles crown at the Commonwealth Championships in both 2007 and 2009 and one of the favourites for gold in the table tennis events at the forthcoming 2010 bCommonwealth Games in India, booked his place in the final of the Men’s Singles event at the Evergrande Real Estate Asian Cup in Guangzhou, with a performance of sheer efficiency late in the evening of Saturday 27th March 2010.
In four straight games he beat Hong Kong’s Ko Lai Chak in their penultimate round duel.
Gao Ning won 15-13, 11-4, 11-8, 11-3.
Right handed wearing a bright pink shirt, Gao Ning captured the first game after Ko Lai Chak had shown his fighting spirit by saving game points.
Similar to the contest that had gone before, the duel pitted two attacking players of different styles in opposition.
Gao Ning, who has one ITTF Pro Tour Men’s Singles title to his credit, he won in India in 2007, is “Mr Safety”.
He is ultra reliable; he is not going to unleash the ridiculous. He displays a calm attitude, never ruffled and not the type of person who is going to make expansive gestures of celebration.
I cannot envisage Gao Ning ripping off his shirt and dancing on the table in the mode of Trinidad and Tobago’s Dexter St Louis, who in 2008 in the Dominican Republic capital city of Santo Domingo, behaved like Tarzan after beating Mexico’s Marcos Madrid to qualify for the Olympic Games.
A close first game secured, Gao Ning played consistently against the left handed penholder Ko Lai Chak, another player not prone to great emotions but the man who one day earlier had beaten Zhang Jike.
In the opening game Ko Lai Chak had threatened to beat the no.4 seed but he never threatened again.
Gao Ning made only a single handful of unforced errors; the man who had upset the seeding one day earlier when beating Zhang Jike was a shadow of one day earlier.
Conversely, Gao Ning who had suffered defeat against the Korean teenager Kim Min Seok in his opening match, played virtually error free. He held all the aces, he was able to control the attacks of Ko Lai Chak and when the chance arose a fast forehand top spin wide to the Ko Lai Chak forehand brought success after success.
The levels of confidence were a chasm apart; Gao Ning was blossoming, Ko Lai Chak just wanted to run to the nearest railway station and board the train for the 90 minute journey to Hong Kong.
A place in the final for Gao Ning who suffered defeat on the opening day and his opponent, a player who had experienced the same scenario.
Such are the vagaries of sport the intrigue of table tennis.