Table Tennis: Xu Xin, Liu Shiwen win singles; China pass 150 golds
- Updated: October 4, 2014
October 4, 2014: World No. 1 Xu Xin and fellow top seed Liu Shiwen were crowned Asian Games singles champions after triumphing in all-Chinese finals at the Suwon Gymnasium in Incheon.
Xu, 24, lived up to his ranking as the world’s best when he came back from 2-1 down to beat 17-year-old Fan Zhendong 4-2 (11-6, 5-11, 11-13, 11-7, 12-10, 11-8) in a gripping men’s final. The pen holder was able to cope with the pressure better in the crucial points than the Youth Olympic Games champion.
“This is an important platform for me to prove myself and move closer to my Rio dream, so this victory is really meaningful to me,” said an emotional Xu, who fell to the ground after winning the match.
“The final was very tough; both of us played at the highest level. I think the most important factor was in the crucial points and my mentality. In the third game, I missed my game point and lost the game, but I was able to adjust quickly to play the fourth game. I believe that was the key to the victory.”
Losing semi-finalists Chuang Chih-yuan of Chinese Taipei and South Korea’s Joo Sae-hyuk took home the bronze medals.
Earlier, Liu made up for losing the World No. 1 spot to compatriot Ding Ning in the October rankings by winning the women’s singles final and China’s 150th gold medal of the 17th Asian Games.
The 23-year-old from Liaoning blew away third seed Zhu Yuling in a scintillating performance, winning 4-0 (11-6, 11-4, 13-11, 11-7) to add the singles gold to the team gold and women’s doubles silver she won earlier in the week.
“I’m very excited to have won the title. I didn’t think too much about what the final score would be and I never thought I’d win 4-0. During the match, I kept telling myself to stay focus and fight for every point,” said Liu, who beat South Korea’s Yang Ha-eun in the semi-final earlier in the day.
“I think I performed better than I expected for both my matches today. I felt nervous during the past few days, including my team matches, but today was the final day of competition and I could go all out.”
Yang and Singapore’s second seed Feng Tianwei, beaten 4-0 by Zhu in the semis, shared the bronze medals.
China won six of the seven table tennis disciplines in Incheon, having claimed gold in the men’s and women’s doubles on Friday and the men’s and women’s team events earlier in the week. North Korea won the mixed doubles on Friday.
Source: ITTF (www.ittf.com); Editing by SportAsia