by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Manager
In Bendigo on the concluding of play, Yan Xin was a busy man. He was on duty alongside David Powell and Kane Townsend in the final of the Men’s Team event; he partnered Jian Fang Lay and Heming Hu to success in the respective Mixed Doubles and Men’s Doubles success, before retaining his Men’s Singles crown won two years earlier in Bendigo.
A three-nil verdict was the end result in the Men’s Team final against the New Zealand trio of Matthew Ball, Dean Shu and Alfred Dela Pena, prior to a five games Mixed Doubles success being recorded against colleagues Heming Hu and Melissa Tapper (11-13, 11-8, 9-11, 11-3, 11-5).
A narrow hard fought success, the Men’s Doubles final was even closer, victory was secured by the narrowest of margins in opposition to David Powell and Kane Townsend, also from Australia (5-11, 11-4, 11-7, 14-12, 12-10).
Similarly en route to gold in the Men’s Singles event, for Yan Xin, there were testing times.
At the final hurdle, the no.2 seed, he accounted for Heming Hu (4-11, 11-5, 11-9, 11-8, 7-11, 9-11, 11-5), having the previous day at the quarter-final stage ousted New Zealand’s Matthew Ball (11-13, 13-11, 12-10, 11-9, 7-11, 11-7), followed by Kane Townsend, the no.3 seed, in a similarly hard fought encounter (4-11, 11-9, 11-7, 9-11, 11-5, 11-6).
Closely fought contests in the lower half of the draw as play progressed to the latter stages in the top half of the draw, it was the same scenario.
On the penultimate day of play, Heming Hu had been extended to seven games by New Zealand’s Dean Shu in the round of the last eight (11-8, 10.12, 8-11, 9-11, 11-4, 11-7, 11-5), before needing six games in the penultimate round to end the hopes of compatriot David Powell, the no.4 seed (8-11, 13-11, 11-5, 5-11, 11-6, 12-10).