Kuwait Open: Teenagers Strike
ITTF Press Release
Chinaís Ma Long and Guo Yue, both eighteen years old, won the respective Menís and Womenís Singles titles at the Salwa Cup Kuwait Open on Thursday 22nd February 2007.
At the semi-final stage Ma Long beat compatriot Wang Liqin, the top seed and reigning World champion, before overcoming the number two seed, Ma Lin, also of China at the final hurdle. At the semi-final stage Ma Lin repeated his success of one week earlier against Germanyís Timo Boll, when he had also won at the semi-final stage.
Meanwhile, in the Womenís Singles event all four semi-finalists were from China. At the penultimate stage Guo Yue beat Zhang Yining, the reigning Olympic and World champion, before overcoming, second seed, Wang Nan in the final. At the penultimate stage Wang Nan had beaten Guo Yan.
It was the third ITTF Pro Tour Womenís Singles title of the year for Guo Yue whilst for Wang Nan it was the fourth time she had finished in runners up spot. Guo Yue won in Croatia and Slovenia when she beat Wang Nan in the final, whilst one week ago in Qatar, Wang Nan lost at the final hurdle to compatriot Li Xiaoxia.
The runners up spot for Wang Nan in the Womenís Singles event and also in the Womenís Doubles where with Guo Yan the pair lost to Li Xiaoxia and Zhang Yining. It was the third ITTF Pro Tour Womenís Doubles title of the year for Li Xiaoxia and on each occasion with a different partner.
At the Croatian Open she won with Cheng Qing whilst at the Liebherr Qatar Open she clinched gold with Wang Nan.
The one title to elude China on the final day of play was the Menís Doubles crown which was won by the Koreans, Lee Jin Kwon and Ryu Seung Min. They gave a quite outstanding display to beat the Hong Kong duo of Cheung Yuk and Li Ching in straight games in the final.
It was the Koreans second ITTF Pro Tour Menís Doubles title as a partnership; the first was in June 2006 at the TMS Chinese Taipei Open.
Image: Ma Long
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