Tag Archives: women's table tennis

Top Stars Cruise Into Quarter-Finals At China National Games

Top stars in both the men’s and women’s singles events at the China National Games took care of business in the round of 16.

In the men’s singles event, Wang Chuqin went the distance against Xu Yubing, winning 11-9 in the seventh game. After the match, Wang said that it was better to go through these challenges now in the domestic competition rather than the international competition. Other big names such as Fan Zhendong, Xu Xin, Zhou Qihao, and Liang Jingkun had an easier time, winning their round of 16 matches in four or five games.

In the women’s singles event, the eight quarterfinalists are also the eight women at this tournament with the highest World Ranking (note Ding Ning and Zhu Yuling did not play the tournament due to retirement and injury respectively). Among the four members of the Tokyo Olympic team, only Wang Manyu had to play more five games as she notched a 4-2 victory over Liu Fei.

After the match, Wang noted that playing choppers is actually quite physically tiring, and she also had to play a chopper earlier in the team event as well. She remarked that one of the difficulties in playing Liu Fei was that some balls that look like they’re floating out tend to end up landing on the baseline.

Liu Shiwen, Chen Meng, and Xu Xin all noted that everyone is very familiar with each other at this tournament. In particular, this is Xu’s third time playing Zhou Yu in the China National Games spanning across 12 years. Xu said while a lot has changed between them, including their emotional makeup, their desire to win is still the same. Xu is soaking in the moment a bit as he gets older and he has to invest more energy into his family rather than playing. However, for this tournament he feels like he is locked in and playing well.

Liu Shiwen echoed similar sentiments about treasuring the moment and simply wanting to play one more match as she gets older. Liu stated that it was good to be back, as this was essentially her first real tournament in a year and a half. Liu noted that her 4-0 victory over Gu Yuting was still a challenge, since they are familiar with each other. In particular, Liu was able to eke out two close victories in the first two games, after which she felt Gu’s level of play dropped as Liu took the third and fourth game 11-7.

Sun Yingsha received a brief early scare as she was leading in the first game but lost six straight points. Sun stated that she was happy that she was able to regroup, and that the quality of play would only increase going further into the tournament as everyone appears to be playing at their peak condition. She also had praise for her round of 16 opponent Zhang Chi, noting Zhang’s heavy spin and ability to get her opponent stuck.

Scores and draw for the men’s singles event are available here. Scores and draws for the women’s singles event are available here.

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WTT Star Contender Doha (Sep 20-25) Women’s Singles Draws and Results

The draw and results of the round of 16 onwards of the women’s singles event at WTT Star Contender Doha (September 20-25, 2021). Note that our coverage of this event is limited, as we are mainly watching the concurrent China National Games.

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China National Games Table Tennis Women’s Singles Draw and Results

The final 16 of the table tennis women’s singles event at the China National Games has been set. Draws and results are posted below.

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China National Games Table Tennis Commences

The group stage in the table tennis team event has started at the 2021 China National Games. No major upsets have occurred so far as the top stars all won their matches. Fan Zhendong, Ma Long, and Wang Chuqin all dropped the first game of their first match, and Ma Long was pushed to five games, but they all eventually came out on top. On the women’s side, Wang Manyu also went five games with Yang Yiyun, but the top female stars also mostly prevailed. Other Olympic stars such as Xu Xin, Liu Shiwen, Chen Meng, and Sun Yingsha all cruised to victories in their individual matches..

The group stage consists of four groups (two groups of four and two groups of five). After the group stage action finishes, in the men’s team event Guangzhou (Fan Zhendong, Lin Gaoyuan, and Zhou Qihao) is considered to be a favorite, and Beijing (Ma Long, Wang Chuqin, and Xu Chenhao) will also be a strong contender.

Day one indeed seems to be quite un-newsworthy, as one of the bigger headlines was Ma Long not being able to find his way to the locker room as he walked into a locked door:

However, while the results may not have been newsworthy, the table tennis action was certainly worth a watch. As usual, full matches can be found on the 247 Table Tennis Youtube channel. Check out this pretty point from Wang Chuqin:

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Table Tennis Stars React to Ding Ning’s Retirement

Ding Ning announced her retirement in a Weibo post yesterday and will begin studying at Peking University at age 31. Table tennis stars including Ma Long, Xu Xin, Liu Shiwen, Liu Guoliang and Ai Fukahara wished her the best. A translation of her post is as follows:

Reporting to Peking University today! From now on, I will be the Peking University freshman will “Studying Ning”.

There is no bound to learning, and I will continue to work hard! In the future, I hope to continue to contribute my own strength to the cause of sports and to everyone.

There are many wonderful things in life, and there are endless possibilities.

Starting today, my career as a table tennis player will come to an end. In the future, I will work towards new dreams and challenge new possibilities.

I have been with table tennis for 26 years, and every moment has been extremely precious: I started to learn to play at the age of 5 and knew nothing, I came to Beijing at the age of 10 to pursue my dreams, I competed for the country in the international arena, and won the championship in the Olympics and completed the “Grand Slam” [winning a World Championship, World Cup, and Olympic title]. I was the flag-bearer of the Chinese delegation at the closing ceremony of the Rio Olympic Games…

Ping-pong taught me to “keep a brave heart forever” whether at a peak or valley, the road to pursuing dreams has never had the words “easy” in it; nobody can be the general who always wins, no one is invincible when encountering failures and difficulties. Face it with courage; when you almost collapse and want to give up, choose to persist, and you will be able to reach the other side of your dreams.

Sports is more than just winning or losing.

Thanks to the great group of the Chinese table tennis team, the coaches who taught me along the way, and the teammates who worked alongside me, love you! I also want to thank my beloved family members, and fans. Your support and company have made me a better me.

Ding Ning wins gold at the Rio Olympics

Other top table tennis stars commented on her post with their best wishes:

Xu Xin: No words need to be spoken [A Chinese idiom]

Liu Shiwen: We’ve competed together since we were eight or nine. We will always be sisters! The future is even brighter!

Ma Long: Forever the captain, the future will be even brighter!

Ding Ning playing at a young age

Ai Fukuhara shared a heartfelt tribute post to Ding Ning:

Ding Ning, you are the most positive player among the athletes I know🏓️

After I finished a match with you, I asked you how I could improve, you explained to me from the first game to the last game, and the bus had arrived at the hotel 🚌 You still had not finished breaking it down to me word by word.

Then I understood why you could win so many Olympic champions and world championships.

I found out from you that people with strength will never hide themselves because they have strength, so they don’t need to keep secrets.

Later, before a match I saw you holding a cute umbrella☔️ I also jokingly said, “If I beat you, can this umbrella be given to me?” You said, “Of course no problem.”

I really beat you that time. You came over and told me “Ai, you played so well today, this umbrella is for you.”

Ding Ning, you are not only worth learning from as an athlete

All aspects of your character have taught me a lot.

Hope your future road will be smoother and smoother

You have already done the best in your table tennis career . You have won all the championships that are possible to win.

The second life after retirement is the same. I hope you will be even more successfuly.

I believe you can do better .

You will always be my role model.

Ai Fukuhara shares a picture of the Chinese and Japanese National Team

Liu Guoliang had the following to say:

I still remember that when Ding Ning proposed to me to retire, she was still very sad, and she shed tears at that time.

For her, I can understand her mood in particular.

Because as an athlete, I have also experienced the moment of retirement.

I also believe that Ding Ning made this decision after careful consideration.

I told her at the time that I hope she can make a good transition after retiring.

As an athlete Ding Ning has achieved very good results.

But then, as a ping-pong person, her real ping-pong career has just begun.

I think Ding Ning can not only in the Chinese table tennis team, but also in Chinese sports, and even in the whole society, convey the positive energy of table tennis and reflect her own values.

And I think Ding Ning has this potential.

So I think Ding Ning chose to go to Peking University to study and continue to enrich herself is a particularly good choice.

Because through systematically learning some theoretical knowledge, combined with her own practice, I believe she can usher in a gorgeous turn.

At the same time, I hope Ding Ning will continue to carry forward the spirit of the Chinese National Team and bring the sunshine and positive energy in her to her study life after transformation.

I also hope that Ding Ning can continue to improve herself and bring light to herself and others.

National women’s coach Li Sun had the following to say:

The biggest impression that Ding Ning gave him was sunshines. She was very active and devoted to table tennis.

Although Ding Ning has encountered setbacks in her career, she always faced the difficulties and finally won the Grand Slam. This is the return of her years of hard work and a manifestation of her own spirit.

Ding Ning’s optimism has always affected the team, especially after she became the captain of the women’s team. In daily training and life, she influenced and led the young players through her words and deeds and set a good example for the young players.

Ding Ning and Li Sun

Best wishes to Ding Ning in retirement!

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Manika Batra Accuses Indian National Coach of Match-Fixing

Indian Olympian Manika Batra (WR 56) has accused Indian National Coach Soumyadeep Roy of pressuring her to throw a match at the Olympic Qualifiers (in March) to his personal student. The allegations surfaced in Batra’s response to TTFI’s (India’s National Governing Body for table tennis) claim that Batra brought disrepute to Indian table tennis by refusing Roy as a coach at the Tokyo Olympics. Manika Batra responded in a written statement that she would not be able to focus on her match if someone who asked her to match-fix was sitting in the coach’s corner:

“Besides the need to avoid disturbance due to his last-minute intervention, there was an additional and much more serious reason behind my preference to play without the national coach.”

“The national coach had pressurised me during the qualification tournament in Doha in March 2021 to concede my match to his student to enable her to qualify for Olympics – in short- to indulge in match-fixing.” 

“I have evidence of this incident and I am ready to present it to the competent authorities at the appropriate time. For asking me to concede the match, the national coach personally met me in my hotel room and talked to me for nearly 20 minutes.” 

“He tried to promote his own student using unethical means under the pretext of national interest. He was accompanied by his student who trains in the private academy not only run by, but also named after him.

“From my side, I did not promise to oblige him and promptly reported this matter to a TTFI official. I decided not to obey the unethical command of the national coach. But his intimidation and pressure had its effect on my mental frame and consequently my performance.

“During the Olympics, I wanted to keep away from the demoralising effect of such a coach. Because, as a player representing India, it was my duty to serve my country in the best possible way.”

Indian media so far appears to have been unable to reach Soumyadeep Roy for comment. More details can be found in this Zeenews report.

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Chinese National Team Emphasizes Youth To Finish 2021

Chinese National Team coaches Li Sun and Qin Zhijian recently outlined their plans for the second half of 2021 as they keep an eye out for the 2024 Paris Olympics. In particular, they are looking for young players to fill the void that will be left by Xu Xin and Ma Long when they likely retire or decline before the next Olympics. Although the women’s team is relatively younger, Li still hopes there will be new younger players to push and challenge them during the China National Games and Super League this year. The coaches also explained their decision to withdraw from the Asian Championships as a result of a combination of the pandemic, the weak competition, and the lack of stakes involved.

A translation of a full media report is provided below.

The Chinese Table Tennis Association recently announced that it will not participate in the Asian Championships to be started in Qatar at the end of September. Both the men’s and women’s team coaches Qin Zhijian and Li Yan said that the team’s key tasks in the second half of the year are the National Games, the Super League and the World Championships, with the World Championships being the top priority. They hope that more outstanding young players will emerge through the games and lay a solid foundation for preparing for the Paris Olympic cycle.


Xu Xin won three gold medals in the 2019 Asian Championships. Image source: ITTF official Weibo

The Asian Championships do more harm than good

From September 28th to October 5th, the 2021 Asian Championships will be held in Qatar. The coaching staff of the national table tennis team decided that the “catch the field” competition would do more harm than good, so they decided not to go as a team.

According to the national table tennis arrangement, the Tokyo Olympic Games players will return to the provincial team after the isolation period. After a short period of preparation, they will participate in the National Games table tennis competition in Xi’an from September 17th to 26th. The Asian Championships opened on September 28, and the time between the two matches was very short, and it was difficult for the national table tennis to arrive at the venue as scheduled.

At the same time, according to our national defense policy, if players participate in the Asian Championships, they will have to be quarantined for 21 to 28 days after returning home. This is very detrimental to the players’ maintenance, especially the progress and growth of young players. Qin Zhijian said that usually athletes need one or two months to recover after a long period of isolation. In addition, the level and antagonism of the Asian Championships are not as strong as those of the National Games.

In addition, the global epidemic situation is also an important reason why National Table Tennis decided to abandon the Asian Championships. Li Sun said frankly that the current risk of infection in international travel is still very high, and “safety first” should be ensured. Moreover, the main role of the Asian Championships is to win the “tickets” for the World Table Tennis Championships next year. As the host, China has already been shortlisted, so the impact of not participating in the competition is not significant.


Liu Shiwen won the women’s singles championship at the 2019 World Championships. Image source: ITTF official Weibo

The World Championship is the “ultimate goal”

According to Qin Zhijian, in addition to the National Games, the National Ping Pong will also participate in the Ping Pong Super League and individual World Championships in the second half of the year, and the latter is regarded as the “ultimate goal” of the team in the second half of the year. Abandoning the Asian Championships is also a decision made by the National Table Tennis Team after considering the overall rhythm of the second half of the year.

This year’s World Table Tennis Championships is scheduled to be held in Houston, USA from November 23 to 29. It is the most important task for the national table tennis team in the second half of the year. The World Table Tennis Championships are usually held in the spring of each year, and the current competition is postponed until the end of the year due to the epidemic, which poses a new challenge for the preparation of national table tennis. “After playing a big game like the Olympics, the athletes and coaches need to adjust their minds and bodies, and the entire team also needs to alternate between the old and the new. After the previous Olympics, there will be no major competitions in the second half of the year, so this kind of rhythmic team has never experienced it. “Qin Zhijian said.

Before the World Championships, China National Table Tennis is also facing two major domestic events, the National Games and the Table Tennis Super League. Qin Zhijian said that the 4-year National Games is the highest level event in the country, and all local teams attach great importance to it. The October league also carries the role of discovering rookies and laying the foundation for the new cycle. The two competitions are about to enter the closed preparations for the World Table Tennis Championships. Time is still very tight, so the arrangements need to be targeted.”

Li Sun also said that Guoping should focus on me and maintain its own rhythm. “You can’t play in every game. You must be focused.”


In the men’s singles final of the Tokyo Olympics, Ma Long defeated Fan Zhendong to defend his title. Image source: “Ping Pong World” magazine

I hope young people will show up

At the Tokyo Olympics, the Chinese women’s table tennis team realized a “reign change”. The three players who won gold medals in their first Olympic games are expected to play again in Paris; the men’s team has not yet completed the transition between the new and the old, and the two Rio Olympic cycle veterans who helped the team win the championship are still in battle. In the middle, Fan Zhendong still failed to pass the “big mountain” of Malone in the singles arena.

When talking about expectations for the second half of the year, Qin Zhijian said that he hopes that the men’s team will better complete the transition from new to old and lay a solid foundation for the next two Olympic cycles. “The Paris Olympic cycle is also very special, one year less than the previous one. So. I hope that through the National Games and the Table Tennis Super League, including preparations and competitions for the World Championships, more outstanding young players will emerge.”

Li Sun is not satisfied with the existing “golden lineup”. He said that healthy competition has always been the magic weapon for China’s ping pong ball. “The women’s team now has four Olympic champions, but I hope that in the second half of the year, Everyone can compete again, and more young athletes will challenge the four of them.”

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Chen Meng: China National Games Are Harder Than Olympics

The Chinese Olympic women’s team (Liu Shiwen, Chen Meng, Sun Yingsha, and Wang Manyu) recently gathered for a live Tiktok stream on Liu Shiwen’s channel during their post-Olympic quarantine. One of the notable statements made was that Chen and Liu agreed that the China National Games are significantly harder than the Olympics. Per one report,

When talking about the goal of the National Games, Chen Meng said: “I think this is harder than the Olympic Games.”

Liu Shiwen added: “Don’t be modest, don’t be modest. You are too modest! You are the person who aims to double the championship!” This sentence made Chen Meng anxious: “It’s really strong, you said we are in this video. Which of the four is good at playing, let’s not be humble! There are others that are not on the screen, they are not easy to play. To be honest, the level of China’s National Games is higher than that of the Olympics.”

Liu Shiwen also followed to praise the strength of the national table tennis: “In terms of technical level alone, it is much higher than the Olympic Games.”

Liu stated in another recent media appearance that the post-Olympic quarantine is 21 days, and they are expected to be released on August 30. They will then immediately begin preparations for the China National Games, which are to be held September 15-27, 2021.

The women also discussed their chief rival Mima Ito. Sun Yingsha noted that she was very happy to have a rival like Mima Ito to push her to be stronger. Chen joked that she envied that Sun was able to play Ito twice at the Olympics while Chen did not to get face China’s strongest rival and added that she is looking forward to more rivals like Mima Ito emerging. Wang Manyu is also looking forward to playing Ito in the future, and the Chinese are confident that they can beat her.

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Chinese Women Cruise To Olympic Gold

China defeated Japan 3-0 in the women’s table tennis team event at the Tokyo Olympics to win gold. China breezed through the competition, never dropping even a single individual match during their championship run.

Chen Meng takes her second gold medal of the Olympics, and she noted that the joy she felt for this gold medal was completely different since it was a team medal.

Sun Yingsha again defeated Mima Ito, although this time Ito was at least able to win a game as she lost 3-1. Post-game, Sun remarked, “Every time I compete with her, I can get a lot from it. I also fully prepared for the challenges of the competition. Today, playing against each other again is a brand new challenge!”

After Japan lost, a tearful Ito said, “The final match is over and I am very happy until the end. Of course, if you win it’s better, you will not be satisfied if you lose, but it is still a very happy competition.” Ito walks away from the Olympics with one gold, one silver, and one bronze medal to complete a colorful collection.

Ishikawa added that she was not satisfied either but acknowledged the strength of the Chinese National Team.

Hong Kong defeated Germany to win the bronze medal.

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Germany and Japan To Face China In Olympic Table Tennis Team Finals

The Olympic table tennis team finals are now set: China will face Japan in the women’s team event and Germany in the men’s team event. China was the top seed in both events, and Japan and Germany were the second seed in their respective events.

China Ready for Japan in the Women’s Finals

Wang Manyu, Sun Yingsha, and Chen Meng

The women’s finals match-up is no surprise as China and Japan were heavy favorites to make the finals, and neither country dropped a single individual match en route to the finals. However, the gap between China and Japan may be just as big as the gap between Japan and the rest of the world.

Following her 4-0 thrashing at the hands of Sun Yingsha in the women’s singles semi-finals, Mima Ito said, “What I was doing was not bad, but the results showed that we are not even close.”

“There’s a gulf in class.”

China appears equally confident. Chen Meng dismissed concerns about line-up match-ups, stating that regardless of whichever two of Chen, Sun, and Wang Manyu face Ito, it’s fine either way. Sun added, “I think the competitive state and mental outlook of the three of us are good. The finals are united and we must be confident while preparing for difficulties.”

However, Japan may still steal a victory in the event of a mental collapse by China. Coach Li Sun cautioned, “The key is to see which of the two teams can fight, and who can do it.”

Ovtcharov Makes History As Germany Readies for China

Timo Boll and Patrick Franziska

Germany ran the same line-up they did against Taiwan to defeat Japan in the semi-finals. The strategy was clear: have the superior Boll/Franziska team win doubles, have Timo Boll and Dimitrij Ovtcharov beat up on the other country’s two weaker players, and live with losses to Lin Yun-Ju or Harimoto. The strategy worked perfectly, as Germany is now in the finals despite losing all their matches to Lin and Harimoto.

Ovtcharov has now secured his record sixth Olympic table tennis medal (singles bronze in 2012 and 2020 and team medals in 2008, 2012, 2016, and 2020). Although Germany’s line-up strategy has been straightforward, the road to the finals has not been easy. Following the win against Japan, Ovtcharov said, “I’m feeling really empty right now, physically and emotionally. It was really, really tough days here.”

While the Japanese women have often been viewed as the biggest threat to Chinese supremacy, the German team believes they have a shot against China. Boll remarked, “If we can be on our peak, all three of us have the skills and the will to win the match. We will definitely go no limits to prove that this is our time.”

Ovtcharov reiterated his belief in the German team on Twitter.

If you liked this post, please share it with your friends and follow Edges and Nets on Facebook Instagram, and Twitter to stay updated. Check out the rest of our Olympic coverage.

If you are based in the United States, be sure to also check out our exclusive interview with Kanak Jha and a tournament that Edges and Nets will participate in hosting in San Diego in mid-August.

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