by Ian Marshall, Editor
Focused, Liu Shiwen gave China the ideal start by beating Miu Hirano (13-11, 11-4, 11-3); thus maintaining her perfect record against the Japanese teenager, eight encounters eight wins.
Chen Meng followed suit, she overcame Kasumi Ishikawa (11-9, 12-10, 11-1), thus avenging the defeat she had experienced two months earlier when they had met at the quarter-final stage on the ITTF World Tour in Australia. China now in the driving seat, Sun Yingsha resisted a brave effort from Hitomi Sato (11-6, 11-8, 8-11, 11-3) to bring matters to a conclusion.
At the semi-final stage, Li Sun, the Chinese national women’s team head coach selected Chen Meng, Ding Ning and Wang Manyu; thus all members of the squad having tasted the atmosphere of the Among Rogo Stadium. On the opening day of action, Liu Shiwen and Sun Yingsha had lined up alongside Wang Manyu.
An emphatic 3-0 win was the outcome against the no.7 seeds, the Singaporean trio comprising Lin Ye, Feng Tianwei and Goi Rui Xuan; notably 18 year old Goi Rui Xuan being preferred to the more experienced Yu Mengyu. After a somewhat hesitant start, Chen Meng beat Lin Ye (9-11, 11-8, 11-6, 11-7), before Ding Ning accounted for Feng Tianwei; the latter withdrawing from proceedings at the end of the second game (13-11, 11-6, 11-0).
China now in the ascendancy, Wang Manyu concluded matters by beating Goi Rui Xuan (11-4, 11-7, 11-5).
Success in style for China, at the semi-final stage it was the same from the Japan, the no.2 seeds, when facing Chinese Taipei, the no.6 seeds, a team without the services of Cheng I-Ching.
Miu Hirano set Japan en route to success. She beat Chen Szu-Yu (7-11, 11-9, 13-11, 11-5); Kasumi Ishikawa followed suit overcoming Cheng Hsien-Tzu (11-8, 14-12, 11-6), before the defensive skills of Hitomi Sato proved too subtle for Liu Hsing Yin (11-6, 11-6, 11-6).
Gold for China and the 16th time they had won the event since the tournament was first organised under the auspices of the Asian Table Tennis Union in 1972 in Beijing; furthermore, it was seven in a row since winning in 2007 in Yangzhou.
Success for the Chinese women’s team, now on Wednesday 18th September can the men follow?