Tournaments

22 Sep 2019

Top seed, favourite for gold, Xu Xin won the men’s singles title at the 2019 ITTF-ATTU Asian Championships in the Indonesian city of Yogyakarta on the evening of Sunday 22nd September; thus justifying his exalted billing.

The win came after Ding Ning and Zhu Yuling, the no.2 seeds, had emerged successful in the women’s doubles final.

by Ian Marshall, Editor

In all Chinese affairs at the final hurdle Xu Xin beat Lin Gaoyuan, the no.3 seed (11-6, 6-11, 11-2, 11-8), a contest in which playing two steps back from the table his power overcame the fast attacking skills his adversary. Meanwhile, after trailing 6-8 in the opening game of the women’s doubles final against Chen Meng and Wang Manyu, the top seeds, it was the very same from Ding Ning and Zhu Yuling, a straight games verdict was the outcome (11-9, 11-4, 11-5).

“Ding Ning is a real great player. I only played in one event this time. W really overcome a lot difficulties. I had an injury before the tournament and even did not know if I could come and play here. Ding Ning encouraged me a lot. I think this is very important in playing doubles.” Zhu Yuling

A true audience

Earlier, in the penultimate round, Xu Xin had made sure that there would be a clean sweep of titles for China; he beat Japan’s Tomokazu Harimoto, the no.4 seed, a contest which thrilled those present in the Among Rogo Stadium.

Often we refer to those who sit in the tiered seating beholding the fare on offer as an audience. Strictly an audience is a gathering that listens to an event, a musical, a show or similar, not one that is there primarily to watch proceedings unfold as in a sporting contest. In Yogyakarta, it was an audience; first Tomokazu Harimoto gave it the vocals; then Xu Xin responded; Xu Xin won the engagement by about 140 to a 120 decibels, the match in three straight games (11-4, 11-9, 11-9).

“My mission was completed at semi-finals. Against Lin Gaoyuan I was more relaxed.” Xu Xin

Speed

Semi-final success for Xu Xin preceded the same for Lin Gaoyuan against colleague Fan Zhendong, a contest in which the skill of Lin Gaoyuan when playing over the table, especially from the backhand, was the key factor.

Fan Zhendong excels in the rallies, he was never able to exercise his trademark skills from mid-distance; he was never given time. Lin Gaoyuan prevailed in straight games (11-7, 11-6, 11-3).

Upper hand

Enthralling contests on a day which started with China having the upper hand against Japan in the women’s doubles semi-finals.

Chen Meng and Wang Manyu beat Miu Hirano and Kasumi Ishikawa, the no.3 seeds (6-11, 11-7, 11-7, 11-8); Ding Ning and Zhu Yuling accounted for Hitomi Sato and Saki Shibata, the no.5 seeds (11-6, 11-7, 11-2).

Sixth time

It is the sixth time when China has completed the clean sweep of all available titles but only the second time this century; the previous occasion being a decade ago in 1999 in Lucknow.

Furthermore, Indonesia is a happy hunting group for China; in 1982 when the tournament was held in Jakarta, they departed with a full house, almost four decades later it was no different.

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2019 ITTF Asian Championships Ding Ning xu xin Zhu Yuling
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Day 8 - 2019 ITTF-ATTU Asian Championships