30 Dec 2016

Crucial to China’s success earlier in the year at the Perfect World Team Championships and the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, both Ma Long and Xu Xin suffered shock defeats at the semi-final stage of the Chinese Men’s Super League on Friday 30th December.

Furthermore, their defeats in the Hefei Anhui Jinzhongzi Gymnasium cost their teams dearly; the title hopes of Shandong Weiqiao and Shanghai lay in tatters.

by Henry Chen

Ma Long, after beating Wang Chuqin (7-11, 11-9, 11-4, 12-10) in the opening match of the fixture, lost to Liang Jingkun (12-10, 3-11, 11-4, 11-5), as Shandong Weiqiao suffered a three-one defeat at the hands of Bazhou.

“Today Bayi played really aggressively. We did not deal with the crucial points well. They deserve the victory. We have so many matches every year, so it’s impossible for me to keep in the best form all the time. Today my performance was not as good as expected”, Ma Long

Liang Jingkun was very much the star of the show; in addition the 20 year who competed in the World Junior Championships in both 2013 and 2014 without a Boys’ Singles medal to his name, proved the backbone of the Bazhou success.

In the second match of the fixture he beat Yan An (16-14, 11-8, 7-11, 8-11, 7-2), before Cheng Jingqi and Fan Shengpeng defeated Lin Gaoyuan and Yan An (11-7, 11-9) to set the stage for Liang Jingkun to perform heroics.

“We did not make full preparations in the doubles. Lin Gaoyuan and Yan An played very passively and conservatively. After we lost the third game, Ma Long felt very pressure in the fourth”, Yin Xiao (Yin Xiao, Shandong Weiqiao coach)

Ironically, in the two meetings in the league, Shandong Weiqiao had beaten Bazhou on both occasions and had chosen Bazhou as their semi-final opponents; a right they earned having finished in top spot.

Defeat for Ma Long, it was the same for Xu Xin as Shanghai suffered a three-nil defeat when facing Bayi.

Xu Xin was beaten by Zhou Kai in the opening match of the engagement (11-9, 11-7, 7-11, 4-11, 11-8), before Jeoung Youngsik experienced defeat at the hands of Fan Zhendong (11-8, 11-8, 11-4).

“We have played Bayi several times before. We are both on the same level. In the first match, Xu Xin did not played firmly enough and made many mistakes. In the doubles, the two young players played impatiently. Hope we can gain the better achievements the next year”, Wang Liqin (Shanghai Coach)

One step away from victory, Xu Chenhao and Zhou Yu accounted for Shang Kun and Zhao Zihao to seal the victory (11-7, 11-8).

“We prepared well before the match. After Zhou Kai won the first game, I felt less pressure in the second. I hope I can perform well in the tomorrow’s final and lead the team to the champions”, Fan Zhendong.

The final will be played on Saturday 31st December.

Zhou Yu (left) and Xu Chenhao (right) sealed the win for Bayi (Photo: Bian Xiang)


Friday 30th December: Super League Semi-Finals

Friday 30th December: Final Super League Results

Friday 30th December: Final Super League Team Positions

Friday 30th December: Final Super League Averages

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