World table tennis: Liu Shiwen bags women's title

In the men’s singles final, Ma Long of China Jingkun Liang to set up final against Mattias Falck of Sweden.

China's Liu Shiwen lifts the trophy after winning the women's singles final against Chen Meng of China at the ITTF World Table Tennis Championships.

China's Liu Shiwen bagged the women’s singles gold with a 9-11, 11-7, 11-7, 7-11, 11-6,11-9 victory over compatriot and world No.3 Chen Meng, in the World individual table tennis championships here on Saturday.

With the singles triumph (she clinched the mixed doubles title on Friday partnering Xiu Xin), Shiwen completed a unique distinction of winning two golds in Worlds.

Shiwen is the first female player to achieve the feat since Guo Yue, who claimed a ‘double’ 10 years ago in 2009 in Yokohama.

In the men’s singles final on Sunday, Ma Long of China will take on Mattias Falck of Sweden.

Shiwen said she was able to win because of her relaxed nature: “I think from the way Chen Meng played in the final, there has been a lot of improvement in her game both tactically and mentally. There was no huge advantage for me against her in the final but the key to my victory was that I played more relaxed and with a friendship mentality. There was a moment in the match, I was just thinking too much about the title but I had to relax myself to play under a good atmosphere.” Liu Shiwen

Ma Long had to slog hard to defeat Jingkun Liang despite what the scoreline suggested. The 4-1 (11-8, 11-6, 11-9, 9-11, 14-12) win meant that Ma Long will be going for his second successive World title.

Ma Long said: “From the beginning of the match I was leading but Liang Jingkun came back. But I made sure I utilised most of the important balls and I stuck to my game. I was also active throughout the match and I think I played very well. No matter the opponent in the final, I think it is an opportunity and challenge to me but I prefer the challenge,” Ma Long

For Falck to enter his first final at the Worlds is in itself a great experience. Falck overcame a stubborn challenge from An Jaehyun of Korea, world No.157, before emerging victorious 8-11, 11-7, 3-11, 11-4, 11-9, 2-11, 11-5. Falck became the first Swede since 1997 to reach the world championship final. In 1997, Jan Ove Waldner reached the summit clash and eventually defeated Vladimir Samsonov.

The results:

Women’s final: Liu Shiwen (Chn) bt Chen Meng (Chn) 9-11, 11-7, 11-7, 7-11, 11-6, 11-9.

Men’s singles (semifinals): Ma Long (Chn) bt Jingkun Liang (Chn) 11-8, 11-6, 11-9, 9-11, 14-12; Mattias Falck (Swe) bt An Jaehyun (Kor) 8-11, 11-7, 3-11, 11-4, 11-9, 2-11, 11-5.

Men's doubles (final): Ma Long & Wang Chuqin (Chn) bt Ovidiu Ionescu (Rou) & Alvaro Robles (Esp) 11-3, 8-11, 11-7, 11-3, 11-5.

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