World Title For Thirteen Year Old
World Title For Thirteen Year Old
Saturday, December 04, 2004
ITTF Press Release
The final of the Junior Mixed Doubles event at 2nd ITTF World Junior Table Tennis Championships in Kobe saw MA Long and CHANG Chenchen face ZHOU Bin and LIU Shiwen; a scenario that has happened many times before and will no doubt happen again, both pairs in the final being from China.
Victory eventually went the way of ZHOU Bin and LIU Shiwen, the pair recovering from a two games to nil deficit to clinch the title.
Each pair consisted of a right and left hander; MA Long and LIU Shiwen being the right handers whilst ZHOU Bin and CHANG Chenchen are the left handers. MA Long and CHANG Chenchen won the first two games whilst ZHOU Bin and LIU Shiwen won the next two; the pattern of the match was that the boys tried whenever possible to give themselves space to play their dynamic forehands whilst the girls remained close to the table whenever possible, gaining wide angles with backhand blocks and playing fast forehands when the opportunity arose.
The player to impress in the fifth game was LIU Shiwen; watching her play you forget her age, thirteen years old and she is the youngest player in the tournament. She looked quite at home on the show court and her ability to attack the service with perfectly timed forehand topspins turn the tide of the game in their favour; they won the fifth game and were one away from the title.
Topspin to topspin rallies were the order of play early in the sixth game, ZHOU Bin and LIU Shiwen established a 5-2 lead, MA Long and CHANG Chenchen recovered to trail 5-7. ZHOU Bin indicated to LIU Shiwen the service that he needed, it was duly delivered by his young female partner and he followed with a trademark forehand topspin. The gap was three points, in no time it had increased to five points and it was championship point.
There was no panic, no drama; ZHOU Bin and LIU Shiwen proceeded in a thorough professional manner; no risks. They converted their first championship point and they were the champions.
In Doha at the Liebherr World Team Championships GUO Yue had become the youngest player ever to win gold at a World Championships; in the Japanese city of Kobe, LIU Shiwen became the youngest ever to win gold at an ITTF World Junior Championships and the youngest by some distance.
It may only be the second staging of the championships but gold at the age of thirteen is quite remarkable and it is a record that might last for many years to come.
Furthermore, LIU Shiwen is also in the Junior Girls’ Doubles final; partnering CHANG Chenchen, the duo beat Korea’s JEE Min Huyng and SHIM SE Rom and face their compatriots FAN Ying and WANG Xuan in the final, the latter overcoming the Romanians, Daniela DODEAN and Elizabeta SAMARA in the semis.
Meanwhile, the Junior Boys’ Doubles final will see MA Long and ZHOU Bin of China face Japan’s Seiya KISHIKAWA and Jun MIZUTANI. MA Long and ZHOU Bin beat CHO Eon Rae and LEE Jin Kwon of Korea in the semi-finals whilst at the same stage Seiya KISHIKAWA and Jun MIZUTANI beat the Croatians Andrej GACINA and Tomislav ZUBCIC.
Junior Mixed Doubles Final
ZHOU Bin/LIU Shiwen (CHN) bt MA Long/CHANG Chenchen (CHN) 7-11, 9-11, 11-9, 11-8, 11-5, 11-5
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