by Wade Townsend
Ma Long has withdrawn from the second stage of the Marvellous 12. According to his coach Qin Zhijian, Ma long sustained a waist injury during his final match of stage one against Lin Gaoyuan. Without a guaranteed ticket, the world number one will have to rely upon the coaches to select him in one of the three remaining positions.
With Ma Long out of the competition, Zhou Yu was able to take advantage of the noticeable absence and win Group C. He will join Xu Xin and Lin Gaoyuan in the final round. All three players progressed without dropping a game.
While securing a place at the Liebherr 2017 World Table Tennis Championships is pressure enough, both Xu Xin and Zhou Yu may have to deal with a little extra intimidation from the crowd. Lin Gaoyuan was born in Shenzhen and will be looking to use this home ground advantage to get him over the line on the final day of play.
In the women’s draw Ding Ning, Chen Meng and Feng Yalan progressed to the final round.
Feng Yalan upset the world rankings with a win over the world number two Zhu Yuling. However the win may not have been as unexpected the rankings suggest. During the match commentator Zhang Yining noted that during closed competitions within the Chinese team, Feng Yalan performs the better of the pair.
The first women’s match will get underway at 19:01 CST (UTC+8) between Chen Meng and Ding Ning. This will be followed with Lin Gaoyuan and Xu Xin at 19:26 CST (UTC+8).