by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor
In the Men’s Singles final Shang Kun meets Yan An; neither seeded, it is the first time in the history of the ITTF World Tour that two qualifiers have met in the title deciding match.
Yan An, 24 years old, although being two years younger than Shang Kun, has arguably the greater experience. He has appeared in three ITTF World Tour Men’s Singles finals; notably winning in Sweden in 2013; for Shang Kun it will be his first such contest.
Similarly, in the Women’s Singles final Wen Jia starts as the favourite; she won on home soil in Shenzhen in 2011 and two years later in Germany, for Chen Xingtong it is her debut in the title decider.
Meanwhile, in the Men’s Doubles final and in Women’s gold medal contests, China, fielding combinations who as a pairing have never won on the ITTF World Tour, face tried and trusted partnerships.
Fang Bo and Zhou Yu face Brazil’s Hugo Calderano and Gustavo Tsuboi, the winner in 2016 in Sweden; in the counterpart Women’s Doubles final Chen Xingtong and Li Jiayi oppose Sweden’s Matilda Ekholm and Hungary’s Georgina Pota.
Last year Matilda Ekholm and Georgina Pota emerged successful in the Czech Republic.
The finals programme commence at 2.00pm local time.