by Wade Townsend & Amy Ding
The final of the Men’s Team event at the China National Games will be played out between Shanghai and Sichuan after two intense clashes yesterday in Tianjin.
Shanghai, led by Xu Xin, survived a four hour battle against Fan Zhendong’s Jiefangjun. While Xu did not win his clash against national teammate Fan, he managed to redeem himself and come from 0-2 down against Zhou Yu to win 3-2 in the deciding match and send his team in to the final.
“We were prepared to play a full five games today. My Teammate performed very well and both teams played at a rather high level. I’ll try play my best in the final.” Xu Xin
Meanwhile, Sichuan surprised everyone as they knocked out Guangdong to make it to their first National Games final in 34 years.
Team Sichuan is without any big names or star players and weren’t expected by fans and pundits to go this far. But the team, headed by Zhu Linfeng, Yan Sheng and Xu Rueifeng, shocked the entire stadium with their win.
Going in to the semi-final, Xu Ruifeng said, “everything is possible!” and it turns out he was right. They took the match 3-1.
In his post match interview, Zhu Linfeng credited the victory to the whole team.
“The whole team is united together. We had great teamwork today. Everyone was positive no matter if it was discussing strategies or deciding the lineup.” Zhu Linfeng
The Men’s final gets underway today, Friday 1 September, at 7:30pm local time.