by Wade Townsend
Good things come to those who wait
Romania upset top seeds Germany in the Women’s Team Event to take gold at the ITTF-European Team Championships, twelve years since they last tasted gold. It was a closely fought 3-2 match, with each member of the Romanian team securing one win a piece to get them over the line.
“It was a fantastic match; very difficult. We expected that, there was no surprise in that department.” Elizabeta Samara
In the Men’s Team Event Germany and Portugal made their way to the final after both overcoming their opponents in the semi-final 3-2. When it came to the final test it was the Germans that passed and redeemed themselves after a four year absence from the top of the podium.
With Timo Boll, Dimitrij Ovtcharov and Patrick Franziska it was going to be a tall order for Portugal. It seemed like the fans were in for a close match early on when Boll was pushed to five games by Marcos Frietas. But after that it was one way traffic, with the Germans dropping just one game in the next two encounters to record a 3-0 win and secure the title.
Lin Gaoyuan has been crowned champion of the ITTF-ATTU Asian Cup as he shook the world order defeating Fan Zhendong in the final of the Men’s Singles. Lin won in six games.
Both had lost a match in the the group stage, but when it came to the knockout the duo were imperious, each dropping a single game en route to the final.
The pair had played in the final of the Junior Boys’ Singles at the 2012 World Junior Table Tennis Championships in Hyberbad. It took five years for the pair to meet again on the international stage, and fate would have it that it was once again in India. In 2012 Fan took the title in six games.
In the Women’s Event it was Zhu Yuling that took the golden ticket to the Women’s World Cup, defeating Liu Shiwen in the final in seven games. Despite being behind in head to head, Zhu has got the better of Liu on their last few outings. The Women’s World Cup has been dominated by Liu the last eight years, having taken the title on four occasions. Could this mark a turning of the tide?
Coming of age in Colombia
Puerto Rico’s Adriana Diaz won the Women’s Singles title at the ITTF-Panam Championships in Colombia, defeating the USA’s Wu Yue in the final.
Diaz, the No.2 seed, had cruised through to the final, but ran in to a tenacious Wu, who took the match all the way to the seventh. It is the first major title for the sixteen year old, who certainly now will have her eyes set on more wins in the senior ranks.
In the men’s draw, Brazil’s Hugo Calderano defeated teammate Thiago Monteiro 4-0 to take the Men’s title. Calderano dropped a single game in the event, firmly stamping his mark as the undisputed leading player in Pan America.
In the team events, Brazil doubled down on gold, winning in both the Men’s and Women’s Events.