China Open: Ma Lin wins again

Defeats compatriot Wang Hao

ITTF Press Release

Fouzhou, China, 14 September 2003. Top Chinese MA Lin underlined that he is the strongest player in the World right now, when he beat compatriot WANG Hao to take the second Pro Tour title in two weeks.

On Sunday he won the Menís Singles Final at the Panasonic China Open by beating WANG 4-2.
With the victories in Korea and in China Ė and with German Timo BOLLís early exit in China Ė MA Lin is likely to overtake BOLL on the next World Ranking and take seat in the first position.

In the final MA took the lead 2-0 before WANG Hao got his game going. WANG levelled at 2-2, but it turned out only to be a short break for MA Lin. He took control once more and won the 5th game.

When tied at 3-3 in the 6th game, MA called a time out and asked for permission to change his shoes because the left shoe was falling apart. LU Yuansheng, the Chinese women's national head coach, who was watching the final, gave his shoes to MA.

MA then left WANG no chance, finished the game 11-5 and took the title.

"It was an embarrassing situation. I could not go on with that shoe. Fortunately the referee gave me two minutes to change shoes and fortunately LU's size is close to mine. Otherwise, I would have had to give up," said MA Lin.

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