Suzhou, May 3, 2015: The 53rd World Championships concluded at the Suzhou International Expo Centre tonight, with the remaining two titles, Men’s Singles and Women’s Doubles World titles being decided.
World number one MA Long (CHN) became the Men’s World Champion for the first time, in front of the capacity crowd in Suzhou.
With this being his fourth time participation at world championships, MA played his first World Championships Men’s Singles gold medal stage tonight in Suzhou. His best result at past world championships was in the semifinals, where he met the now retired WANG Hao (CHN) on all three occasions.
The 26 year old faced compatriot FANG Bo who eliminated hot favorites XU Xin (CHN) as well as two-time defending and Olympic champion ZHANG Jike (CHN) en route to the finals.
Determined to get hold of the St. Bride Vase, MA was all fired up to dominate the court in front of the home crowd. Despite all of FANG’s efforts to turn the situation in his favour, MA won 4-2 (11-7, 7-11, 11-4, 11-8, 11-13, 11-4) to claim the title that has eluded the world number one all these years.
“It is like a dream come true. Having losing in the semifinals at the three world championships previously, honestly I have a lot of pressure to earn this title. At the end of the day I think these was worth it.” shared the newly crowned champion.
In the other gold medal match of the night, DING Ning (CHN), who reclaimed her Women’s Singles title last night in the most dramatic fashion, put up a good fight with partner LI Xiaoxia (CHN) in the Women’s Doubles gold medal match.
Facing teammates LIU Shiwen and ZHU Yuling, DING/LI pulled off amazing rallies during the match to take the lead early in the match despite DING having difficulty moving around with her sprained ankle. LIU/ZHU, equally determined to take home the title, trailed closely behind in the match.
LIU/ZHU eventually prevailed 4-3 (8-11, 11-8, 3-11, 11-8, 11-13, 11-8, 11-8) to emerge victorious to claim the title. This defeat means that DING Ning has now played four Women’s Doubles finals in a row and have lost them all!
LIU who lost her women’s singles title against DING the night before, expressed “I was very upset after the loss last night. While I know I only have to accept it. I’d like to thank my coach, teammates and friends for their support.”
The 24 year old added “Since I had doubles to play today, I knew I had to be mentally tough. I cherish this match because I’ve never won the championship in single’s event before and I knew I had to give it my best effort tonight.”
Other than the two World Championship titles that was won, Japan’s 14 year old sensation Mima ITO won the Qoros Newcomer award for her outstanding performance at the Qoros 2015 World Championships. She battled her way to the quarterfinals on her debut here in Suzhou.
Gold Medalists at the Qoros 2015 World Championships:
• Men’s Singles: MA Long (CHN)
• Women’s Singles: DING Ning (CHN)
• Men’s Doubles: ZHANG Jike / XU Xin (CHN)
• Women’s Doubles: LIU Shiwen / ZHU Yuling (CHN)
• Mixed Doubles: XU Xin (CHN) / YANG Haeun (KOR)
• Total unique viewership on CCTV yesterday (2 May 2015): 99,027,000 which is the 6th highest rating sports show on CCTV in 2015
• Total viewership between 27 April – 2 May: 223,332,000
• Total unique people have seen content on ITTF’s facebook page between 26 April – 2 May: 2,373,752
• Total unique people who have visited ITTF’s website between 26 April – 2 May: 8,560,318
With the perfect closing of the Qoros 2015 World Team Table Tennis Championships, the 54th edition of the World Championships will be staged in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia in February 2016. —- ITTF
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