27 Apr 2019

Silver medallist in 2013 in Paris, the same outcome two years later in Suzhou, on Saturday 27th April at the Liebherr 2019 World Championships in Budapest, for China’s Liu Shiwen it was third time successful.

She beat colleague, Chen Meng in six games (9-11, 11-7, 11-7, 7-11, 11-0, 11-8) to secure the women’s singles title and in a most appropriate city lift high the Geist Prize; the trophy having been donated by Dr Gaspar Geist in 1931, at the time the President of the Hungarian Table Tennis Association.

by Ian Marshall, Editor

Eventually, as against Ding Ning the previous day in the semi-final, it was the sheer speed of Liu Shiwen that won the day, a tournament where not only did she create history by adding her name to the role of honour, she completed a unique double which will take some equaling.

In the fifth game against Chen Meng she did not surrender a single point, exactly the same as the previous day against Ding Ning!

“I must congratulate Liu Shiwen. It was in 2009 that was 10 years ago we first played against each other and for 10 years she has been working hard. I think I lacked experience in the final as I was thinking too much on how to fight back from the big margin. I have a lot to learn from Liu Shiwen and I hope to win this title next time.” Chen Meng

Moreover, in approach of Liu Shiwen was there just that one per cent extra incentive?

The young lady on whom we first set eyes in the Japanese city of Kobe at the 2004 World Junior Championships when only 13 years old, losing only one match in the whole tournament; that being the girls’ singles semi-final against the much older Chang Chenchen, is now 28 years old. Did she see Budapest as her last chance?

“I think from the way Chen Meng played in the final, there has been a lot of improvement in her game both tactically and mentally. There was no huge advantage for me against her in the final but the key to my victory was that I played more relaxed and with a friendship mentality. There was a moment in the match, I was just thinking too much about the title but I had to relax myself to play under a good atmosphere.” Liu Shiwen

Success and it meant a full house of title. After the agony of Moscow in 2010 when China lost to Singapore in the final, Liu Shiwen losing to Wang Yuegu and Feng Tianwei, since that date Liu Shiwen has been a member of ever Chinese gold medal winning outfit at a World Team Championships.

Additionally in Suzhou in 2015 she partnered colleague Zhu Yuling to women’s doubles gold, before in 2017 in Düsseldorf enjoying the same success in harness with Ding Ning. In Budapest she added the mixed doubles partnering Xu Xin, now the women’s singles crown completes the collection.

She is first female player to achieve the feat since colleague Guo Yue completed the full house partnering Li Xiaoxia to women’s doubles success ten years ago in 2009 in Yokohama.

2019 World Table Tennis Championships Chen Meng liu shiwen

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