Asian Qualification Cup for ITTFWorld Cups

Hong Kong, April 15, 2013: XU Xin and LIU Shiwen have won the respective Men’s and Women’s titles at the GAC GROUP 2013 Asian Cup, held at Hong Kong’s Queen Elizabeth Stadium on Sunday 14 April 2013.

The top seeded Chinese pair defended the titles they won in Guangzhou, China, last year and in the process boosted their confidence for the upcoming LIEBHERR 2013 World Table Tennis Championships, which is being held in Paris, France, in exactly 4 weeks’ time.

In an all Chinese finals, LIU Shiwen accounted for WU Yang in five games (11-3, 11-6, 15-13, 3-11, 11-6) and XU Xin beat young YAN An in an enthralling six games duel (4-11, 11-5, 12-10, 11-9, 7-11, 11-9).

XU Xin was a relieved man after overcoming his younger rival Yan An. This latest triumph will only add to the 22 year old’s self-belief, after beating World No. 1 team mate Ma Long last week to claim gold at the ITTF Korean Open.

It was not all doom and gloom for the beaten finalists, as they, together with the champions and bronze medalists, Japan’s Kasumi ISHIKAWA in the women’s and Chinese Taipei’s CHUANG Chih-Yuan in the men’s, all qualify for the ITTF World Cup later in the year.

The STARTS Women’s World Cup is to be staged in Kobe, Japan from 21-23 September 2013 and the LIEBHERR Men’s World Cup is to be hosted in Verviers, Belgium on 25-27 October 2013.

The surprise of the event was 21 year old Iran’s Noshad ALAMIYAN, who captured the hearts of the crowd in Hong Kong on his way to securing 4th position at the event. Despite just missing out on a World Cup spot, the Iranian has given hope and inspiration to the Iranian table tennis community, showing that it is possible to compete with the best, and beat the best.

All eyes now turn to the ITTF North American Cup in Westchester, USA on 20-21 April 2013, where the best North American Table Tennis talent will be battling it out for the one women and one men’s berth into the ITTF World Cups. —- ITTF

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