Huangshi – China, Sept 23, 2012: The winner in Guangzhou in 2009 in her one and only previous appearance in the event, the host nation’s 21 year old LIU Shiwen regained the VOLKSWAGEN Women’s World Cup title in the Chinese city of Huangshi on Sunday 23rd September 2012.
At the final hurdle she beat Romania’s 23 year old Elizabeta SAMARA after having overcome her nemesis, Singapore’s FENG Tianwei, in the penultimate round.
In the final of the Women’s event at the LIEBHERR 2010 World Team Championships in Moscow, LIU Shiwen had been beaten by FENG Tianwei in the match that secured the shock win for Singapore against China.
Furthermore, one year later at the VOLKSWAGEN China Open in Shenzhen; LIU Shiwen had been beaten by FENG Tianwei at the semi-final stage of the Women’s Team event. Meanwhile, for Elizabeta SAMARA it was a whole new experience.
The former European Youth champion was only a reserve on the original list; as the tournament progressed she grew in confidence beating Spain’s SHEN Yanfei at the semi-final stage in dramatic circumstance.
Staring defeat in the face when trailing 6-9 in the deciding seventh game, she played freely, winning five points in a row to grasp victory from the jaws of defeat. However, in the final, LIU Shiwen, the top seed, stamped her authority on proceedings to record a straight games win.
Defeat for Elizabeta SAMARA but on her debut in the event, which was first held in Hong Kong in 1996 she had created her own special piece of table tennis history. She is the first ever European player, the first non Asian player to reach the final.
The silver medal for Elizabeta SAMARA, for SHEN Yanfei it was bronze. She recovered from a three games to one deficit to beat FENG Tianwei to secure third place.
LIU Shiwen (CHN) bt FENG Tianwei (SIN) 11-8, 8-11, 11-9, 11-8, 11-4)
Elizabeta SAMARA (ROU) bt SHEN Yanfei (ESP) 6-11, 11-9, 13-11, 11-8, 5-11, 9-11, 11-9
SHEN Yanfei (ESP) bt FENG Tianwei (SIN) 11-5, 5-11, 2-11, 6-11, 11-6, 11-5, 11-9
LIU Shiwen (CHN) bt Elizabeta SAMARA (ROU) 11-6, 11-7, 11-3, 11-3 —- ITTF/ Photo by Qi Dazheng
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