World Table Tennis: Jingkun Liang shocks top seed Fan Zhendong

Jingkun Liang recorded the biggest upset of the ongoing ITTF-World individual table tennis championships as he cruised to a 4-2 win over World No.1 Fan Zhendong on Thursday.

China's Jingkun Liang celebrates after beating top seed Fan Zhendong in the ITTF-World individual table tennis championships on Thursday.   -  Twitter @ittfworld

China’s twenty-two-year-old Jingkun Liang produced the one of the biggest upsets in the men's pre-quarterfinals of the ITTF-World individual table tennis championships here on Thursday, with an emphatic 4-2 (5-11, 11-4, 11-8, 11-9, 8-11, 11-7) win over his countryman, World No.1 and top seed Fan Zhendong.

An excited Liang said: “Fan [Zhendong] is the top-seeded player. So I put myself into a lower position and tried to challenge him. I stepped into the match point by point. That was my key to win the game. The top seed Zhendong said he couldn’t handle the pressure of being the favourite well”

“I prepared for this championship for a long time. But I did not take my chances. I did not release the pressure very well when being regarded as the favorite for the championship. I have not won a world championship before which gave me lot of pressure and burden,” he added.

It was a memorable championships for Sweden’s Mattias Falck as he became the first Swede since 2005 to reach the quarterfinals, after defeating  Lee Sangsu of Korea 11-13, 11-8, 11-8, 11-5, 11-6.

“I think I was a bit nervous in the beginning. It was the first time in the round of 16. But I think I played well,” said Falck.

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Meanwhile, defending champion Ma Long of China defeated Hugo Calderano, the conqueror of India’s G. Sathiyan in the earlier round, with an 8-11, 11-8, 11-1, 11-3, 11-8 win. World No.5 and crowd favourite Timo Boll of Germany pulled out of the men's prequarterfinal against Jang Woojin of Korea after owing to illness.

In the women’s section, defending champion and World No.1 Ding Ning of China stormed into the semifinals with a 11-8, 4-11, 11-2, 11-7, 11-9 victory over Miu Hirano (Japan).

The results

Men (Pre-quarterfinals): Jingkun Liang (Chn) bt Fan Zhendong (Chn) 5-11, 11-4, 11-8, 11-9, 8-11, 11-7; Koki Niwa (Jpn) bt Tomislav Pucar (Cro) 12-10, 11-5, 3-11, 11-8, 8-11, 12-10; Ma Long (Chn) bt Hugo Calderano (Bra) 8-11, 11-8, 11-1, 11-3, 11-8; Lin Gaoyuon (Chn) bt Youngsik Jeoung (Kor) 11-8, 11-9, 11-9,11-6; Jaehun An (Kor) bt Harimoto Tomokazu (Jpn) 11-7, 3-11, 11-8, 11-7, 8-11,11-9; Jang Woojin (Kor) w/o Timo Boll (Ger); Mattias Falck (Swe) bt Lee Sangsu (Kor) 11-13, 11-8, 11-8, 11-5, 11-6; Simon Gauzy (Fra) bt Yang Wang (Svk) 11-0, 11-5, 11-4,11-8.

Women (Quarterfinals): Ding Ning (Chn) bt Miu Hirano (Jpn) 11-8, 4-11, 11-2, 11-7, 11-9; Shiwen Liu (Chn) bt Miyo Kato (Jpn) 11-9, 8-11, 11-4, 11-6, 11-5; Manyu Wang (Chn) bt Yingsha Sun (Chn) 11-9, 10-12, 21-19, 11-6, 9-11, 11-8; Meng Chen (Chn) bt Hoi Kem Doo (Hkg) 9-11, 11-7, 11-7, 8-11,12-10, 11-4


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