China reigns supreme at ITTF World Team Cup

China’s men and women’s teams dominated the ITTF 2015 World Team Cup in Dubai

China sealed a sensational double at the ITTF 2015 World Team Cup when both male and female teams won their respective titles at the Al Nasr stadium in Dubai.
 
To the charge of the crowd to ‘go, go, go!’ China picked off opposition from Portugal and North Korea respectively to add to their complete dominance of this event. It was the sixth consecutive victory for the men’s team and seventh for the women’s team.
 
The women led the charge with a close fought battle against a plucky North Korean team.
 
Chinese World No.2, Liu Shiwen edged past Ri Mi Gyong (3-2) in a tense opener and the nerves also dominated the second match between Zhu Yulin and Korean No.1 Ru Myong Sun. The young Chinese star had to dig deep after falling behind early on, but she managed to change the momentum when winning a spectacular fourth set (14-12) and eased through the last set (11-5) to put China in a dominant position.

They then piled on the pressure by pairing up their superstar World No.1 and No.2 combo, Ding Ning and Liu Shiwen as they looked to power to victory. They proved to be simply too good for the opposition, winning easily (3-0) and sealing China's spectacular seven-year dominance of this event.

A delighted Ding Ying praised the North Korean effort, but said that her teammates were simply too strong: “Players from North Korea are very good. Though we win the game, it was a tough win. My teammates tried their best.”

Chinese Men
The victorious Chinese men’s team

The stage was then set for the men's team, who faced surprise finalists Austria, who shocked European champions Portugal, in the semis.

Austria and China had previously met in the group stages, where China notched up a 3-0 victory and team coach, Liu Guoliang, a repeat performance from his team.

New star and world No.3, Fan Zhendong, led the way and easily beat his rival Habesohn Daniel (11:3, 11:5 and 11:8).

That set momentum as world No. 4, Zhang Jike took on Austria's prize player, Gardos Robert, winning three straight games (11-7, 12-10, 12-10) and leading Robert to admit that "We are good players but the Chinese are better.”

That proved to be true as China's star player, Xu Xin paired up with Zhang Jike to dispatch their Austrian opponents with ease (3-0) and win the tournament and a remarkable for China.

ITTF Dubai
The Ping Pong festival allowed fans to get up close to their sporting heroes

Fan Zhendong remarked: "As Ping Pong is becoming popular, the competition is more fierce. The winning is proof of our hard work and to win more we can only work harder.”

It capped a successful week for the ITTF, which began with the Ping Pong Dubai Festival and their Star Awards, which attracted a host of Chinese fans. Ms. Wang, who has lived in Dubai for 4 years and brought her granddaughter to attend the Ping Pong Dubai Festival in Dubai Mall, praised the event, adding: “I wish my granddaughter can have more chance to access this sport and maybe she will become a professional player in the future.”