Notable Progress, Penultimate Round Defeat but Honorable Performance
2016 ITTF Asian Cup
Courtesy of ITTF
A brave effort by Hong Kong’s Wong Chun Ting but eventual defeat at the hands of China’s Zhang Jike brought the second day of play at the 2016 Nakheel Asian Cup to a conclusion on the early evening of Friday April 29th.
Eventually, to the delight of the full house in Zabeel Hall 1 at the World Trade Centre in Dubai, the reigning Olympic champion, the no.2 seed, eventually succeeded against a most spirited adversary.
Wong Chun Ting, the no.5 seed, extended his illustrious adversary to six games (11-7, 8-11, 11-5, 7-11, 11-5, 11-8).
Much Improved Performance
The outcome was a far cry from the result of the previous day when they had met in the group stage of proceedings, Zhang Jike having emerged successful in a most emphatic manner in three straight games (11-7, 11-9, 11-2).
Earlier at the quarterfinal stage Zhang Jike had beaten Chinese Taipei’s Chiang Hung-Chieh, the no.12 seed, in five games (11-5, 11-5, 5-11, 12-10, 11-2); Wong Chun Ting had accounted for Japan’s Jun Mizutani, the no.4 seed (6-11, 11-5, 11-6, 11-5, 8-11, 11-6).
Meanwhile, in the opposite half of the draw, Xu Xin, like Zhang Jike from China, gave a breath taking display.
Occupying the top seeded position in the competition, he accounted for Korea’s Lee Sangsu, the no.7 seed, in five games (11-7, 17-15, 9-11, 11-9, 11-1), before bringing gasps of incredulity from the crowd in his semi-final duel against Singapore’s ever consistent and reliable Gao Ning, the no.9 seed.
One round earlier Gao Ning had proved too secure for India’s Soumyajit Ghosh, the no.13 seed (11-8, 7-11, 11-7, 11-4, 11-8).
Against Xu Xin, the security fence was breached. After losing the first game Xu Xin unleashed a tirade of devastating forehand top spin strokes that brought raucous applause from encapsulated crowd. Xu Xin won in five games (8-11, 11-7, 11-2, 11-4, 11-1).
Top Four Places
Gold and silver bound for China; Gao Ning and Wong Chun Ting will contest third place.
Fifth to Eighth Places
Meanwhile, in the contests to decide fifth to eighth places, it was Jun Mizutani who prevailed.
He beat Chiang Hung-Chieh (11-4, 11-9, 11-6, 11-7) before overcoming Lee Sangsu (11-4, 11-6, 11-9, 9-11, 11-6) in the duel to determine fifth and sixth places.
Seventh place went to Soumyajit Ghosh; he accounted for Chiang Hung-Chieh in the contest that decided seventh and eighth positions.
Play concludes on Saturday April 30th.