by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Manager
At the final hurdle the no.8 seeds, they beat the host nation’s Maharu Yoshimura and Kasumi Ishikawa, the reigning World champions and top seeds, to arrest the title (11-9, 11-9, 11-9), having one round earlier accounted for Hong Kong’s Ho Kwan Kit and Lee Ho Ching, the no.4 seeds (7-11, 11-9, 11-6, 11-7).
Two titles in a row for Chen Xingtong; she is very much following in the footsteps of her colleague, Cao Zhen. She won the Mixed Doubles title at the H.I.S. 2009 World Championships in Yokohama in partnership with Li Ping, before succeeding two years later at the GAC 2011 World Championships in Rotterdam in harness with Zhang Chao.
Both Li Ping and Zhang Chao described Cao Zhen as the ideal partner; it is very much the same in the guise of Chen Xingtong.
“Chen Xingtong is a very good doubles player and assisted me a lot; this was the first time we have played together and it was a lot of fun. I am very happy to win this title here in Japan against very strong opponents.” Liang Jingkun
“It was different playing with Liang Jingkun as opposed to Lin Gaoyuan; both are amazing players and good to play with. It is great that I was able to win my second World Tour title in two weeks!” Chen Xingtong
In the opposite half of the draw, at the semi-final stage Maharu Yoshimura and Kasumi Ishikawa had beaten Korea Republic’s Lee Sangsu and Choi Hyojoo the no.7 seeds (11-5, 11-6, 11-5).