03 Oct 2016

19-year-old FAN Zhendong has won the Liebherr 2016 Men’s World Cup to claim his first major senior singles title today in Saarbrucken, Germany.


The world number two, who was not selected for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, showed the world what he can do on the biggest stage with a breakthrough win, just weeks after he shocked the Olympic champion MA Long to win the China Open.

FAN Zhendong was not able to repeat his performance over MA Long here in Germany due to the world number one pulling out due to injury. Instead, FAN battled world number three XU Xin in an all-Chinese final. The 2014 Youth Olympic Games champion blew his team mate away in a devastating performance 11-5, 11-6, 11-8, 7-11, 12-10 in the final in front of a capacity crowd in Germany.

Following his devastating win, the silver medalist from 2015 stated: “This is a big win for me, it’s my first senior world title trophy, it feels fantastic to win such a big event, I don’t know what to say. My next goal is to keep improving, I want to be world number one, World and Olympic champion. I want to be the best! But for now I will just enjoy this victory and then start training again to get better and better.”

In the bronze medal match, world number seven penholder WONG Chun-Ting (HKG) played the surprise semi finalist of the tournament, world number 29 Kristian KARLSSON (SWE), who shocked both Dimitrij OVTCHAROV (GER) and Simon GAUZY (FRA) en route to the bronze medal match.

KARLSSON was not able to keep his giant-killing feats going, as he went down 8-11, 12-10, 11-6, 11-9, 11-7, as WONG secured his first ever Men’s World Cup medal at his first ever appearance at this prestigious event.

After the match, the 26-year-old stated: “I am very happy with the victory but it did not come easy as Karlsson played very well. I am happy with this title being my first medal in the singles ITTF World Title event. Also winning a medal in my first ITTF World Cup appearance is fantastic for me.”

All eyes now turn to the Seamaster 2016 Women’s World Cup, which runs from 7-9 October in Philadelphia, USA.

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