Kazan – Russia, July 17, 2013: China, Chinese Taipei and Japan shared the 7 table tennis gold medals on offer at the 27th Universiade, which saw 10,400 university athletes from 162 countries descend onto the Russian city of Kazan.
China’s LIU Yi and CHE Xiaoxi made China proud by winning the respective Men’s and Women’s Singles table tennis titles.
LIU Yi was in breathtaking form, as he cruised past the number 1 seed and 2010 Youth Olympic Games Champion Koki NIWA (JPN) in the semi-finals, and then put in a dominant performance against team mate SHANG Kun, the number 14 seed, in the final 11-8, 5-11, 11-7, 11-8, 12-10 to win his maiden international title.
CHE Xiaoxi was equally impressive, as she stayed undefeated to add the Universiade title to the ITTF World Tour Japan Open Girls’ Under 21 gold she won last month in Yokohama. The 4th seed faced a familiar opponent in fellow Chinese ZHENG Shichang, but the 20 year old prevailed 11-6, 8-11, 11-9, 11-7, 11-9.
China may have dominated the singles event, but it was Chinese Taipei who had the last laugh in the doubles, winning both the men’s and women’s titles.
World Junior Champions in Linz in 2005; CHIANG Hung-Chieh and HUANG Sheng-Sheng won the men’s doubles, beating the host nation’s pair of Viachaslev BUROV and Mikhail PAYKOV 12-14, 11-4, 11-2, 11-5, 11-9 in front of a very patriotic crowd in the Sports Palace in Kazan.
Chinese Taipei’s women’s pair of LEE I-Chen and LIN Chia-Hui had a much tougher match against China’s duo of CHE Xaoxi and JIANG Yue, being pushed to 7 games and winning an epic encounter that lasted 48 minutes 11-9, 15-13, 7-11, 7-11, 11-9, 5-11, 11-9.
Japanese mixed doubles pair of Hiromitsu KASAHARA and Rika SUZUKI caused a huge shock to beat the 2nd seeded brother-sister partnership of Koki and Misato NIWA in an all-Japanese mixed doubles final. KASAHARA/SUZUKI came back from a 2 game deficit to clinch a memorable gold 10-12, 10-12, 13-11, 3-11, 11-5, 11-1, 11-5.
Japan continued their golden run in the women’s team event, as Yuka ISHIGAKI, Rika SUZUKI and Riyo NEMOTO beat Chinese Taipei 3-0 in the finals to stand at the top of the podium.
The Japanese men’s team were unable to match their women’s golden efforts, being beaten 3-0 by the Chinese trio SHANG Kun, LIU Yi and FANG Bo in the gold medal match.
Country Gold Silver Bronze Total
Photo by RIA Novosti / ITTF