Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor
Wu Xue Captures Women’s Singles Gold in all Dominican Republic Final
Twenty-eight year old Wu Xue beat twenty-five year old Lian Qian to secure the Women’s Singles title at the Latin American Championships on Sunday 6th April 2008 in the country’s capital city, Santo Domingo.

Wu Xue secured gold without the loss of a single individual game.

At the quarter-final stage she ousted Cuba’s Glendys Gonzalez followed by a semi-final victory over the rapidly improving Colombia’s Paula Medina.
Gold for Wu Xue on the final day of play
The competition followed the Women’s Singles event at the Latin American Olympic Qualification tournament held earlier in the week, where six players had qualified plus two reserves. The two reserves were the two losing finalists on the third day of play. It was those eight players competed in the event which brought the eight days of play in Santo Domingo to a close.

Runners up spot for Lian Qian but there was consolation; she beat Venezuela’s Fabiola Ramos in the semis having overcome Mexico’s Yadira Silva in the quarters.

In the Latin American Olympic Qualification tournament, Lian Qian had lost to Fabiola Ramos.

Wu Xue was immaculate throughout and she gave Colombian teenager a lesson in control at the semi-final stage, being able to contain her powerful adversary with a degree of ease.

“I concentrated on keeping the ball short and then I attacked quickly with my forehand whenever possible”, explained Wu Xue. “Paula has a very good forehand but I think her backhand is a little weaker.”

Backhand Attention
Paula Medina is a fine prospect but both Lian Qian and Wu Xue have beaten her by attacking the backhand, forcing her away from the table and securing victory.

It is an area of her game to which she clearly needs to pay attention.

A place in the final booked it was a match between the two colleagues; players who knew each other well but Wu Xue controlled proceedings and won the crucial points.

“She is very good playing topspin strokes from both backhand and forehand”, explained Wu Xue. “I don’t like it when she attacks; it was important for me to keep the ball short and attack quickly.”

Third Time
The young lady representing the Dominican Republic did just that and for the third time in her career she was crowned Latin American Women’s Singles champion.