15 Sep 2017

Chen Chen-An, always capable of causing an upset, a fact he proved at the Times Property 2013 World Team Cup when in the final against China he beat Zhang Jike, at the time the reigning Olympic and World champion; once again on the morning of Friday 15th September, he proved he was the man for the big occasion.

Against the odds, the no.9 seed, he beat China’s Fan Zhendong, the top seed, to set the 2017 ITTF-ATTU Asian Cup in Ahmedabad, India, alight. The 26 year old from Chinese Taipei withstood a spirited recovery by Fan Zhendong to emerge successful in five games (13-11, 11-7, 6-11, 9-11, 11-8).

by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor

Time and again we have seen Chinese stars recover to win; in the vital fifth game that scenario appeared more than a possibility as Fan Zhendong led 6-5; Chiang Peng-Lung, the Chinese Taipei coach sitting courtside, called “Time Out”.

Chen Chien-An levelled but the next two points went to Fan Zhendong; the momentum was now in favour of the top seed. Quite remarkably Fan Zhendong did not win another point. Chen Chien-An levelled, before Fan Zhendong served into the net, Chen Chien-An led 9-8. Now the balance was in favour of Chinese Taipei and Chen Chien-An was in the zone; the next two points were secured, Chiang Peng-Lung leapt to his feet in celebration.

A major upset, the win overshadowed the performance of Korea’s Jeong Sangeun, the no.8 seed, who beat Hong Kong’s Wong Chun Ting, the no.2 seed (15-17, 11-9, 11-5, 11-9), a group in which Chinese Taipei enjoyed further success, Chuang Chih-Yuan, the no.6 seed, accounted for Iran’s Noshad Alamiyan, the no.12 seed (4-11, 14-12, 11-3, 11-7).

“My opponent Wong Chun Ting today was not in a good form and made a lot of unforced mistakes in changing the trajectory of the ball so I was the favourite in the rallies; the fact we had a break when the lights went out did not affect me.” Jeong Sangeun

Defeats for the top two names; for the third in the order of merit, it was success but a close call; Japan’s Jun Mizutani had to recover from a two games to nil deficit to emerge successful. Pertinently, he beat Lin Gaoyuan, the no.7 seed (9-11, 9-11, 11-6, 11-4, 11-9).

“I did not give up when I was two-nil down, I had confidence I could win in the end.” Jun Mizutani

Thus on the opening morning of play, both Chinese representatives had been beaten; has that ever happened since the tournament was first staged in Wuxi in 1983? I doubt it.

Success for Japan, in the same group as Chen Chien-An, Koki Niwa, the no.4 seed, beat Hong Kong’s Ho Kwan Kit, the no.11 seed (11-8, 10-12, 11-3, 14-16, 11-4).

Meanwhile, in the group occupied by Jun Mizutani, the host nation’s Sharath Kamal Achanta, the no.10 seed, suffered at the hands of Korea’s Lee Sangsu (11-5, 11-7, 11-9).

Defeat for India but there was success; in the regions contests, Harmeet Desai beat Saudi Arabia’s Abdulaziz Al-Abbad (11-6, 12-10, 11-7); in the counterpart duel Iran’s Nima Alamian overcame Thailand’s Padasak Tanviriyavechakul (8-11, 11-7, 11-2, 8-11, 11-6).

2017 ITTF-ATTU Asian Cup Chen Chien-An Jeong Sangeun

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Day 3 - 217 ITTF-ATTU Asian Cup