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Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor
Lin Ju and Wu Xue in Control to Clinch Mixed Doubles title in Cartagena da Indias

The Dominican Republic’s, Lin Ju and Wu Xue, thoroughly justified their top seeded position by winning the Mixed Doubles title in the table tennis competition at the Central American and Caribbean Games in Cartagena da Indias on the afternoon of Thursday 27th July 2006.

In the final they beat Cuba’s Pavel Oxamendy and Anisleivys Bereau 11-7, 15-13, 11-6.

The left handed penholder, Wu Xue was in many respects the architect of the victory, good close to the net, deft returns from a flexible wrist, creating the opening time and time again for Lin Ju to explode his powerful topspin wide to the backhands of their adversaries.

Li Ju and Wu Xue, the Mixed Doubles champions at the Central American & Caribbean Games
Classic Combination
In doubles, the combination of the left hander and the right hander is invaluable, it is the classic combination; the pair from the Dominican Republic add another aspect to the equation, they have a shakehands grip player and a penhold grip player in their team

The combination was irrepressible.

The duo maintained the pressure on the Cuban duo with Pavel Oxamendy and Anislevys Bereau always under pressure, they were forced to take risks, they made mistakes but they both fine players, both are talented and both can proud of their efforts.

“Lin Ju kept attacking strongly with his forehand into our bodies”, said Anislevys Bereau with a tear in her eye. “I made mistakes on my backhand.” The Cubans have a right and left handed partnership, both are shakehands grip players with Anuslevys Bereau being the left hander.

“I think we have a good understanding, we get on well together”, continued Anislevys Bereau; thankfully the tear had now disappeared and a charming smile was revealed. “Also, he’s so fast!”

Now, the latter comment is almost an understatement but even `Speedy Gonzales’ couldn’t play his devastating forehand as the Dominican Republic duo aimed fast and wide. They attacked the bodies of the Cubans time and time again.

“Everything Anislevys does is good when she plays”, said Pavel Oxamendy. “She has a really strong forehand topspin and that helps when we play.” Furthermore, he had to admit that he enjoyed being her partner because she was so pretty!

Meanwhile, for the pair from the Dominican Republic, their outstanding skills close to the net, over the table were of paramount importance.

“He keeps the ball so short that I can attack”, said Wu Xue. “Also, he gives me a great deal of space to play; it enables me to play my forehand time after time.”

True, also Lin Ju showed his intelligence in the final. “He’s smart, he spins the ball well and he keeps changing the spin on the ball”, continued Wu Xue. “He makes it easy for me to attack. Equally, Lin Ju was praiseworthy of the skills demonstrated by Wu Xue. “She’s serves well”, he said. “Her control is very good she helps me a great deal.”

Control was the key and it brought victory. Lin Ju and Wu Xue were the Mixed Doubles champions in the table tennis events the Central America and Caribbean Games 2006.
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