Suzhou, May 01, 2015: China’s XU Xin and Korea’s YANG Haeun are the newly crowned mixed doubles champions at the Qoros 2015 World Table Tennis Championships, making them the first international mixed doubles pair to be crowned since 1966.
Even though this was their first partnership, the dynamic duo was able to work well together to defeat Japanese pairing of Kasumi ISHIKAWA and Maharu YOSHIMURA 4-0 (11-7, 11-8, 11-4, 11-6) to claim the title.
After the historic victory, XU who was knocked out from the Men’s Singles event by his colleague FANG Bo after sustaining a shoulder injury, shared that “the injury definitely have affected my play. I am glad that our partnership worked out well despite my injury. I am neither a hero, nor a warrior, but I made sure that I give my best. As long as that is the case, I think the outcome matters less compared to the process and efforts.
“This victory is a result of the combined efforts by me and my partner, her performance has been very stable since our first match here in Suzhou, and she has improved a lot to help us win against the Japanese in the finals,” the world number two added.
Delighted about her first ever World Championship title, YANG expressed that “I am really excited that we could win the title. It’s definitely an invaluable experience for me, and have learnt a lot from this partnership with XU Xin, not just in techniques, but also in terms of mental strength.”Â
Despite losing to the Chinese/Korean pair, it was still a historic moment for the Japanese team, being the first mixed doubles finalists from the land of the rising sun since 1977.
In the Women’s Singles, 14 year old Mima ITO (JPN) had the tournament of her career, making it to the Quarterfinals on her debut world championships.
After overcoming Ukraine’s Tetyana BILENKO 4-1, she played her best match in Suzhou to challenge the Chinese supremacy, taking 2 games off grand slam winner LI Xiaoxia. The match went in favour of the defending champion eventually, as LI made an amazing comeback from 0-2 to win 4-2 (9-11, 14-16, 11-2, 13-11, 11-2) to join her other three Chinese team mates DING Ning, LIU Shiwen and MU Zi, who became the first player in the modern era to make the semi finals from qualification.
More action at the World Championships resume tomorrow with the gold medal matches for the Women’s Singles and Men’s Doubles taking place here in Suzhou. —- ITTF