21 Apr 2024

The penultimate day of the ITTF Men’s and Women’s World Cup has concluded, and the stage is set with the finalists determined.

In the Women’s Singles, Wang Manyu set the night ablaze with a stunning victory over Miwa Harimoto, securing her place in the finals in her debut Women’s World Cup appearance. Despite Harimoto’s determination, Wang exhibited remarkable composure and resilience, ultimately clinching the win.

‘I was expecting a fierce match today, and Miwa Harimoto was also playing well, which didn’t surprise me. All the way up to Game 6, I faced a lot of difficulties. I kept telling myself, just see if I can make it. When I landed that killer blow and won the last point, it felt like my mind went blank. I thought my tactics were pretty solid today, but in the third game, I got off to a great start and the second game went by quickly, but then I lost the third set. Then things got really tight. Game 6 was a real challenge, but I’m really satisfied with how I secured those 10 points. It’s about challenging myself while staying calm to execute my tactics better.’ Wang Manyu 


Wang will now meet World No.1 Sun Yingsha in the final tomorrow. In a repeat of the 2020 Women’s World Cup final, Sun avenged her 2020 loss, defeating defending champion Chen Meng in an enthralling match to finish off the night. Proving her ranking, Sun overpowered Chen 4-2 (11-13, 12-10, 11-6, 1-11, 14-12, 11-9). 

‘I think both Chen Meng and I played really well in this match. Every point exchange in all six games was just fantastic. I did lose by a big margin in Game 4, but honestly, I still feel like I played well. CHEN Meng was just better on that one. Anyway, I’m happy I won the match. We know each other’s game very well. So it’s normal for either of us to be behind or ahead. We’ve trained together and lived together, so we can even anticipate each other’s ball trajectories.’ Sun Yingsha

The previous encounter between Sun and Wang in an ITTF final occurred at the ITTF World Championships Finals 2021 in Houston, where Wang emerged victorious. With both players are seeking their first Women’s World Cup title, fans can anticipate an unforgettable night of table tennis action, building anticipation for what promises to be an exhilarating final tomorrow.

‘Tomorrow is the final match. I’ve made it this far, so I’m already feeling relaxed. I just want to unleash my full potential. I can see tomorrow’s match being really intense. Wang Manyu and I also know each other very well, so I’ll just give it my all.’ Sun Yingsha

In the Men’s Singles,  Ma Long delivered a mesmerising performance in the opening Men’s semi-final, overpowering World No.1 Wang Chuqin with a flawless 4-0 victory (11-9, 12-10, 11-6, 14-12). With his fifth Men’s World Cup final secured and his two-year winless streak against Wang shattered, Ma Long sets the stage for an electrifying championship clash against compatriot Lin Gaoyuan tomorrow. 

‘I feel overall I played very relaxed today, not just playing well but also very relaxed. I know I’ve lost to Wang Chuqin quite a few times before, so today I just felt more at ease. I used a lot of techniques on the court that I don’t normally use, and they were very effective. I managed to pull off some crucial points, which I think gave Wang a different feeling compared to our previous encounters. My goal before the match was to at least try to win one or two games.’ Ma Long

Meanwhile, in the other Men’s Singles semi-final, Lin Gaoyuan secured his debut Men’s World Cup final with a dazzling performance, sweeping aside Tomokazu Harimoto in straight sets (11-9, 11-6, 11-6, 11-1).

‘I was relatively relaxed when preparing for this match. Even though my opponent was tough and winning was always stressful, it wasn’t my main focus this time. Making it to the semifinals of the World Cup is something I truly cherish. I’m very happy and enjoying the atmosphere of the competition. Honestly, I didn’t expect to reach the final. At the beginning, during the group stage, I just hoped to play more matches and not get eliminated too quickly. I am hoping that maybe in ten or twenty years, when I look back, I can boast a bit, saying that I made it to the final of the World Cup. Whether I win or lose in the final, being able to recall this atmosphere would be a great thing.’ Lin Gaoyuan

With two epic showdowns set for the final day of the ITTF Men’s and Women’s World Cup, tomorrow is poised to deliver a thrilling clash for glory.


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