China’s Wang escapes the nail biter in the table tennis world title defense

China’s Wang escapes the nail biter in the table tennis world title defense

China's Wang escapes the nail biter in the table tennis world title defense
© Provided by Xinhua

All Chinese paddlers have reached the singles in the 16s after the Day 5 events at the ITTF World Table Tennis Championships (WTTC) finals.

DURBAN, South Africa, May 24 (Xinhua) — Defending champion Wang Manyu of China triumphed in a full-game thriller against Hanna Haponova of Ukraine to book a place in the women’s singles round at the ITTF World Table Tennis Championships (WTTC) Finals here on Wednesday .

In contrast to the large difference in their world rankings, the match was a tough contest. Haponova, ranked No. 213 globally, showed her formidable style of play, taking a 2-1 lead and saving a match point to force a decider. However, Wang, the tournament’s second seed, found his rhythm and emerged victorious with an 11-3 triumph in the final game.

Reflecting on her performance, Wang admitted she feared defeat but remained confident. “I would have been completely unhappy if I lost at this stage. Despite the pressure, I felt a strong motivation to win,” she noted.

In addition to Wang, four other Chinese female players advanced to the round of 16. Top seed Sun Yingsha dispatched Elizabeta Samara of Romania in straight games, while Olympic champion Chen Meng overpowered German veteran Shan Xiaona 4-0.

Wang Yidi won 4-1 against Portugal’s 44-year-old Fu Yu, and Chen Xingtong secured a 4-2 victory against Zhu Chengzhu of Hong Kong, China.

China's Wang escapes the nail biter in the table tennis world title defense
© Provided by Xinhua

Notably, Japan has four players in the women’s round of 16 – Mima Ito, Hina Hayata, Miu Hirano and Miyuu Kihara, along with Puerto Rico’s Adriana Diaz, Germany’s Han Ying and Chinese Taipei’s Cheng I-Ching.

In the upcoming round, Diaz will face Ito. “Mima is one of the best players in the world. I have to prepare properly,” commented Diaz.

On the men’s side, second seed Wang Chuqin took out world number 19 Yukiya Uda 4-1, marking his second straight victory over a Japanese player in Durban.

In the wake of Uda’s exit, Tomokazu Harimoto is the only Japanese player in the men’s battle, having outplayed Chinese Taipei veteran Chuang Chih-Yuan 4-0.

China’s top-ranked Fan Zhendong beat Wong Chun Ting of Hong Kong, China 4-1, while Ma Long overcame Kristian Karlsson of Sweden 4-1. They are joined by compatriots Lin Gaoyuan and Liang Jingkun, who defeated South Korea’s Lee Sang-su and England’s Paul Drinkhall respectively.

China's Wang escapes the nail biter in the table tennis world title defense
© Provided by Xinhua

Due to African support, Egypt’s Omar Assar ousted 2021 World Cup runner-up Truls Moregard of Sweden 4-2. When the World Championships returned to Africa for the first time since Cairo, Egypt, in 1939, the African champion realized the significance of this event for the continent.

Reigning mixed doubles champions Wang Chuqin and Sun Yingsha advanced to the semifinals after sweeping past Lin Yun-Ju and Chen Szu-Yu of Chinese Taipei 3-0. Their young teammates Lin Shidong and Kuai Man defeated French pair Simon Gauzy and Prithika Pavade 3-1 to face world No. 2 Harimoto and Hayata in the semi-finals.

In addition, Chen Meng and Wang Yidi reached the women’s doubles quarterfinals with a 3-0 victory over the Romanian pair of Elizabeta Samara and Andreea Dragoman. They are set to face Japan’s Ito and Hayata, runners-up in the previous two editions of the event, in the next round.

Source: sn.dk

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