02 Jun 2018

The host nation’s Lin Gaoyuan and Chen Xingtong emerged successful at the Seamaster 2018 ITTF World Tour Platinum Kaisa China Open in Shenzhen on Saturday 2nd June and thus etched their names indelibly in the history books of sport.

They won the first ever Mixed Doubles event to be staged in the history of the ITTF World Tour, a concept which dates back to April 1996 when the English town of Kettering was the setting.

by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Manager

At the final hurdle the no.6 seeds, they beat the Japanese combination of Masataka Morizono and Mima Ito, the top seeds, in four games to arrest the title (13-11, 7-11, 11-5, 11-8).

Both pairs comprised the favoured partnership of the left hander and right hander; in each instance the man was the left hander, the woman the right hander.

Winners earlier in the year at the all Japan National Championships, Masataka Morizono and Mima Ito, levelled matters after losing a close opening game but from the third game onwards it was very difficult to prevent the Chinese combination seizing the initiative.

Notably Masataka Morizono owns a very strong forehand top spin, Mima Ito is somewhat different with a quick forehand attacking stroke but when your opponents are equally adept in the art of fast forehand top spin strokes, it’s like trying to dodge bullets from a machine gun. Masataka Morizono and Mima Ito were hit more than once.

Increasingly confident, Lin Gaoyuan and Chen Xingtong secured the third game in style and, whilst one must admire the spirit of both Masataka Morizono and Mima Ito, the Chinese pair held the ace cards.

The title was secured and perhaps extra special for Lin Gaoyuan who hails from Shenzhen.

On the ITTF World Tour, including the current Seamaster 2018 ITTF World Tour Platinum, Kaisa China Open, a total of 302 Men’s Doubles and the same number of Women’s Doubles events have been staged in what is now an overall number of 329 tournaments.

On the first Saturday of the month we have a first, Lin Gaoyuan and Chen Xingtong set the example and a splendid example, the champions in Shenzhen.

It was a smiling Steve Dainton, ITTF Chief Executive Officer who presented the awards; understandably he was pleased the initiative had worked and had worked well.

Currently there are established Men’s Doubles and Women’s Doubles partnerships but not to the same extent Mixed Doubles. We look forward to the next tournament with great anticipation; it will be interesting to witness the pairings that enter and which became established prior to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

World Tour 2018 Seamaster China Open Lin Gaoyuan Chen Xingtong

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