China's Olympic "Trials": Qihao Tops Zhendong in Xingtong - Butterfly Table Tennis
Site Products

China’s Olympic “Trials”: Qihao Tops Zhendong in Xingtong

(by Steve Hopkins, photo by ITTFworld)

If this event were a true Olympic Trials, the table tennis world might have just been turned on its collective ears. As each of the Chinese Olympic Team members fell to much lower ranked opponents – and if the winner made the team, a relatively unknown Zhou Qihao would now be leading the Chinese Olympic Team.

This week’s 5-day event has been called an Olympic Trial, but the team has already been chosen (in 2020) so this is more a warm-up designed to simulate Olympic conditions and prepare their team for Tokyo. The event included Fan Zhendong, Xu Win, Ma Long (World No. 1, 2, and 3 respectively) as well as Lin Gaoyuan (World No. 5), and Liang Jingkun (World No. 10), and Wang Chuqin (World No. 14), and Zhao Zihao (World No. 23).  Despite that extremely elite company, the winner was….. World No. 122, Zhou Qihao.

The Final just finished (see the video below).  World No. 1 Fan Zhendong fell to Qihao 4-2.

World No. 2 Xu Xin and World No. 4 Lin Gaoyuan both lost in the group stage and failed to make the Quarterfinals.  Xu Xin fell to Lin Shidong, a 15 year old phenom who will likely be finding his way onto the National Team in the next year.  Lin Gaoyuan fell to savvy veteran Fang Bo.  *Lin Shidong fell 4-2 to Fan Zhendong – playing close for three games, but then fading.

Zhou Qihao’s final two matches?  A win over World No. 1 Fan Zhendong and a win over World No. 3 Ma Long.  Qihao isn’t a rising junior, he’s an elite talent who has been inconsistent through his rise and that has kept him off the top tier of the Chinese Team.  Still, despite peaking at World No. 37, since 2018 Qihao has logged wins against Ovtcharov, Chih-Yuan, Samsonov, Franziska, Duda, Jingkin, and (of course) now Ma Long and Fan Zhendong.

China is 80 days away from competing in Tokyo – perhaps the upsets this week will be a wake-up call that will help prevent similar missteps when it really counts.

 


Dignics 09C - Now Available

Latest News

Kanak Jha Extends Contract With TTF Liebherr Ochsenhausen

January 22, 2022
(by Steve Hopkins) American fans will be able to follow Kanak Jha with his German squad for another… Read More

Dusseldorf Tops Ochsenhausen in TTBL Action

January 21, 2022
(by Steve Hopkins) You could argue that the two squads are moving in opposite directions.  Borussia Dusseldorf sits… Read More

Butterfly Training Tips with Linda Shu – Handspeed and Forehand Loop Footwork

January 21, 2022
In this Butterfly Training Tips with Linda Shu, she is focuses on increasing her handspeed close to the… Read More

Butterfly Training Tips with Nandan Naresh – 3 point Forehand Loop Footwork

January 21, 2022
In this latest Butterfly Training Tips, Nandan Naresh does the 3 point footwork using the Forehand Loop close… Read More

Training experience in Taiwan

January 20, 2022
(By Darryl Tsao) The building was quiet. The only thing I could hear were my footsteps, inching closer… Read More

WTTC Interviews: Suthasini Sawettabut

January 20, 2022
1. You were playing very well against Mima Ito and really close to win. Ito commented you had… Read More

Butterfly Training Tips with Wang Hui – Multi-ball Training: Forehand Counter

January 20, 2022
In this Butterfly Training Tips Wang Hui focuses on Multi-ball training of Forehand Counter Loop [embed]https://youtu.be/NqZIOnf8Swo[/embed] Stay “In… Read More

Butterfly Training Tips with Rachel Sung – Full Table Random

January 19, 2022
In this Butterfly Training Tips Rachel Sung is focuses on full table random drill [embed]https://youtu.be/zyZwRJLPJn8[/embed] Stay “In The… Read More
View All News

Get the latest from Butterfly

Stay “In The Loop” with Butterfly professional table tennis equipment, table tennis news, table tennis technology, tournament results, and We Are Butterfly players, coaches, clubs and more.