06 Jan 2017

A 15 year agonising wait came to an end on Saturday 31st December in Anhui, when Bayi beat Bazhou three-one to clinch the prestigious 2016 Chinese Men’s Super League title.

The man to make the difference was Fan Zhendong; in the final he beat Wang Chuqin (9-11, 10-12, 11-7, 12-10, 7-5) and Liang Jinkun (11-4, 11-9, 11-9) to prove the backbone of victory.

by Henry Chen

Fan Zhendong was the pivotal player but he was quick to point out that the success was the result of a team effort.

“Winning the championship is a result of our team’s efforts and the coaches’ careful planning. The final was very exciting but for me it was difficult. Achieving victory has greatly improved our confidence as a team”, Fan Zhendong

Impressively through the whole campaign of the 28 matches in which he competed, he won 25 times; only three defeats. There were pressure situations and in such an intense schedule injury doubts but at the vital times Fan Zhendong produced his best.

“It really helped me to improve my overall confidence”, Fan Zhendong

Undoubtely Fan Zhendong made the biggest contribution but it was not a one man team; Zhou Yu, Xu Chenhao and Zhou Kai all played valuable roles.

Zhou Yu finished the season in the eighth spot with 20 wins and ten losses; Zhou Kai secured 20th place with six wins and four losses; Xu Chenhao, who most of the time played in the doubles, contributed 14 wins and nine losses.

“We are still a young team. I hope that we would be able to develop much better in the future; each one of us is becoming more mature. We are very satisfied with the end result”, Fan Zhendong.

The coaching staff, led by Wang Hao, the 2009 World Champion, made a major impact achievement; a fact of which Fan Zhendong is most grateful for this season and hope will continue.

“I would like to thank the coaches, whether from the National Team or coach Wang Hao; they were very concerned and helpful to me. I hope that through these achievements, I will be able to accelerate and in improve myself,” Fan Zhendong

Most certainly Fan Zhendong has time on his side; he will celebrate his 20th birthday on Sunday 22nd January. One wonders what he may achieve.

China News China Table Tennis Super League Fan Zhendong