Austrian Open: Chen Qi Secures Consecutive Titles
Monday, October 29, 2007
Top seeded players captured three of the four titles on offer at the Liebherr Austrian Open in Wels on the final day of play, Sunday 28th October 2007.
Chinaís Chen Qi and Zhang Yining won the respective Menís and Womenís Singles titles whilst Singaporeís Gao Ning and Yang Zi captured gold in the Menís Doubles event.
The one title to elude the grasp of the players whose names initially appeared at the top of the draw was the Womenís Doubles crown; the event was won by the Japanese pairing of Ai Fukuhara and Sayaka Hirano who beat Hong Kongís Lin Ling and Tie Yana in the final.
It was only the second appearance of Ai Fukuhara and Sayaka Hirano as a partnership on the ITTF Pro Tour; their first appearance together was one week earlier at the Eurosib Russian Open when they reached the semi-finals.
In the singles events Chen Qi and Zhang Yining were both dominant in the final two rounds.
Chen Qi beat fourth seed, Hong Kongís Li Ching in the semis in five games and Spainís He Zhi Wen in one game less in the final, a man almost twice his age. He Zhi Wen is forty-five years old; Chen Qi is twenty-three.
It was Chen Qiís second consecutive Menís Singles title on the ITTF Pro Tour and the third of his career. He won the previous week in St Petersburg and in 2004 in Japan; as for He Zhi Wen, who accounted for Germanyís Bastian Steger in the semis, it was his first ever appearance in a final on the ITTF Pro Tour.
Similarly, in the Womenís Singles, Zhang Yining was supreme overcoming compatriot Guo Yan in five games in the final. At the penultimate stage Zhang Yining had beaten Singaporeís Li Jia Wei by the same margin whilst in seven games Guo Yan had overcome second seed, Wang Nan, also from China.
Success for the top seeds in the Womenís Singles event and also the Menís Doubles where Singaporeís Gao Ning and Yang Zi won gold. They beat second seeds, Hong Kongís Ko Lai Chak and Li Ching in the final, a pair they had never previously beaten on the ITTF Pro Tour. Earlier in the year they had lost the Hong Kong pair in both Slovenia and Chile.
Photo: Chen Qi now in fourth place on ITTF Men's Singles Standings
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