Yang Zi once again a Men's Doubles champion on Tour
Photo By: Cristian Larrain
GAC GROUP 2012 ITTF World Tour, Chile Open
Runners up one week earlier in Spain, Singaporeís Yang Zi and Zhan Jian went one step better in Santiago.
On Sunday 29th April, they won the Menís Doubles title at the GAC GROUP 2012 ITTF World Tour Chile Open, beating Koreaís Kim Dong Hyun and Li Jung Woo at the final hurdle.
The previous week, the top seeds as in Santiago, they had been beaten in the final by the Japanese duo of Kenji Matsudaira and Jun Mizutani.
One week later they made no mistake.
Confronted by the third seeded Koreans after losing the third game, they imposed their authority on proceedings to record a six games victory (11-7, 8-11, 11-13, 11-9, 11-7, 11-4).
It was for Yang Zi and Zhan Jian their first ever Menís Doubles title on Tour as a partnership; for Zhan Jian, after his experience one week earlier in Almeria, he was more acclimatised to the theatre of an international final.
Prior to the efforts in Spain, he had never reached a final of international note.
However, for Yang Zi, he is no stranger to finals and in particular to Menís Doubles finals.
The final in Santiago was no less than his 16th appearance in a Menís Doubles final on Tour; notably being successful with compatriot Gao Ning. In addition to success on the regular Tour, Gao Ning and Yang Zi were twice runner ups in the ITTF Pro Tour Grand Finals and the winners in Macau in December 2008.
Runners Up Again
Meanwhile, for Kim Dong Hyun and Zhan Jian it was once again the silver medal; the third time in 2012.
Earlier in the year they were the runners up in Qatar and Kuwait, in the former losing in the final to Chinaís Ma Lin and Xu Xin, in the latter to Singaporeís Gao Ning and Li Hu.
Grand Finals Hopes Alive
However, the runners up spot in Santiago means they maintain their second spot on the ITTF World Tour Standings behind Gao Ning and Li Hu; thus keeping their hopes very much alive of qualifying for the Grand Finals later in the year.
Withdrew from Menís Singles
Furthermore, it endorses the decision made by Lee Jung Woo when matters concluded in Spain.
Concerned that he had a leg injury he withdrew from the Menís Singles event but decided just to play in the Menís Doubles, the reason being to increase the chances of qualification for the Grand Finals.
No doubt it was not the result he had hoped to achieve but it puts the Korean duo well over 1,500 points clear of third placed Ma Lin and Xu Xin.
Yang Zi (left) returns service watched by Zhan Jian (right) en route to gold in Santiago
Photo by Cristian Larrain