Halmstad, Sweden, Oct 18, 2015: World Champion MA Long is now the 2015 Men’s World Cup champion after a devastating performance at the Liebherr 2015 ITTF Men’s World Cup that concluded today in Halmstad, Sweden.
In a highly anticipated final, world number one MA accounted for 18 year old compatriot FAN Zhendong 4-0 (11-7, 11-6, 11-8, 11-8) for a convincing victory.
MA is now well on track towards a table tennis Grand Slam (World Championships, World Cup, Olympic Games) dream, after winning two major World Titles events consecutively in 2015.
The 26 year old, who will be able to celebrate his victory with his birthday on Tuesday stated “2015 has been a fruitful year for me. The World Championships victory earlier this year definitely made me stronger mentally and skills-wise, giving me more confidence to win this event.”
“I played really well today, Sweden has been a lucky place for me, I won the World Tour Swedish Open in 2011, and the Men’s World Cup today. It feels great here!”
Dimitrij OVTCHAROV made up for his crushing defeat by MA Long in the semi final to clinch third place. The German resumed his long running battle with Jun MIZUTANI, which dates back to 2005. OVTCHAROV was too strong on this occasion, powering his way to a 11-9, 9-11, 11-9, 7-11, 11-9, 11-9 victory to claim his second Men’s World Cup bronze medal.
“It was a great match against Jun, really difficult, long rallies”, said Dimitrij OVTCHAROV. “I’m really tired, I’ve played 18 matches since the start of the European Championships, I now need two days to recuperate before I play in the Polish Open in Warsaw, Poland, that will start on 21 Oct.”
The surprise of the tournament was Brazilian Gustavo TSUBOI, who made several massive upsets to become the first Latin American player to make the Men’s ITTF World Cup quarter final since 1989!
All eyes now turn to the 2015 ITTF Women’s World Cup, which begins 30 October in Sendai, Japan. —- ITTF