Table Tennis News Recap | March 2018


This month on TT News:
Liu Shiwen and Fan Zhendong prevail at 2018 Qatar Open,
Egypt secures Africa Top 16 gold medals, Ma Long topples opposition at German Open
and more. This video is brought to you in partnership
with Bribar. Visit Bribar table tennis for all your table
tennis equipment needs including the latest Tibhar evolution rubber range. Doha hosted the second ITTF World Tour event
of the year with the 2018 Qatar Open taking place in early March. Ding Ning and Liu Shiwen were forced to begin
their campaigns in the qualification rounds, but that didn’t faze either one of them
as both players successfully went on to reach the main draw of the Women’s Singles competition. There were notable performances from Wang
Yidi and Hitomi Sato with both competitors making appearances at the quarter-finals stage. An all Chinese line-up was confirmed on the
penultimate day of play with victories over Chen Meng and Kasumi Ishikawa sending Wang
Manyu and Liu Shiwen through to the final. Wang Manyu entered the tie as the higher ranked
player, but ultimately it was Liu Shiwen who went on to lift the trophy for the third time
in Qatar. Over in the Men’s Singles tournament it
was Hugo Calderano who stole the spotlight with the Brazilian star achieving massive
upsets against Timo Boll, Tomokazu Harimoto and Lin Gaoyuan to book his spot in the title
match. However, despite a brave effort in the final
the 13th seed ended up missing out on the top step of the medals podium as China’s
Fan Zhendong collected his first Men’s Singles gold medal in Qatar. Fan Zhendong also won gold in the Men’s
Doubles category with partner Xu Xin following their four games victory over Japan’s Jun
Mizutani and Yuya Oshima while the Women’s Doubles title was awarded to Chen Ke and Wang
Manyu. Africa’s finest table tennis players travelled
to Kenya at the beginning of March for the 2018 Africa Top 16 Cup competition. With qualifying spots for the 2018 Men’s
and Women’s World Cups up for grabs there was plenty at stake in Nairobi. Egypt enjoyed a positive outing at the event
with both titles being awarded to competitors representing the country. Omar Assar narrowly came out on top in the
Men’s Singles final in Nairobi with the top seeded player requiring the full seven
game distance to see off Nigeria’s Quadri Aruna in a thrilling encounter. Over in the Women’s Singles gold medal match
it was Dina Meshref who went on to lift the trophy, defeating surprise finalist Sarah
Hanffou of Cameroon. The ITTF World Tour stopped off in Bremen
in late March for the 2018 German Open. Ma Long returned to the ITTF World Tour for
the first time in almost a year but despite his long stint away from the tour the Chinese
star looked just as strong as ever. Picking up victories over the likes of Timo
Boll and Wong Chun Ting in the lead up to the final, Ma Long went on to beat Xu Xin
in the gold medal contest to win a record fifth title at the German Open. However, while there was success for China
in the Men’s Singles tournament, over in the Women’s Singles event that wasn’t
the case. Wu Yang and Sun Yingsha both exited at the
quarter-finals stage of the competition with Kasumi Ishikawa and Suh Hyowon going on to
reach the final. Japan’s Kasumi Ishikawa held off a brave
attempt from her Korean counterpart winning her first Women’s Singles gold medal at
the German Open in the process. The Men’s Doubles trophy was awarded to
Ma Long and Xu Xin while the Women’s Doubles title was successfully defended by Hina Hayata
and Mima Ito. Several European countries hosted their annual
national table tennis championships over the course of the opening weekend of March, as
players across the continent battled it out for national glory. Han Ying won her first Women’s Singles title
at the German National Championships, defeating Tanja Krämer in the final while Timo Boll
lifted the Men’s Singles trophy for a 12th occasion. In Italy Niagol Stoyanov improved on his silver
medal finish from last year by earning a gold medal at the 2018 edition of the Italian National
Championships and Giorgia Piccolin emerged victorious in the Women’s Singles draw. Liam Pitchford and Tin-Tin Ho secured the
Men’s and Women’s Singles titles at the English National Championships with Kristian
Karlsson and Matilda Ekholm achieving the same in Sweden. Sofia Polcanova dominated at the Austrian
Championships with three gold medals while the Russian singles trophies went to Alexander
Shibaev and Polina Mikhailova. Korea Republic enjoyed a positive outing at
the 2018 Polish Open with players representing the country winning all four senior gold medals
up for grabs in Spala. Lim Jonghoon came out on top in the Men’s
Singles tournament after the eighth seeded player saw off fellow countryman Jang Woojeen
in the final, claiming his first senior trophy in the process. Further Korean success came in the Women’s
Singles final as Yang Haeun secured her spot at the top of the medals podium. Honoka Hashimoto was consistent as ever displaying
great control throughout the match but Yang Haeun rose to the occasion, defeating the
Japanese competitor across five ends. Yang Haeun also received a gold medal for
her terrific outing in the Women’s Doubles event along with partner Jeon Jihee while
the Men’s Doubles title was awarded to Jeoung Youngsik and Lee Sangsu. South American table tennis stars battled
it out for continental success as Havana, Cuba played host to the 2018 Latin-American
Championships. The Mixed Doubles and the two team events
were won by Brazil as were the two singles tournaments. Eric Jouti impressed in the Men’s Singles
final, accounting for Andy Pereira in five ends but the performance of the day surely
went to Bruna Takahashi, who recovered from three games down to defeat fellow compatriot
Jessica Yamada in a thrilling Women’s Singles final. Chile received a gold medal in the Women’s
Doubles draw courtesy of Judith Morales and Paulina Vega while the Men’s Doubles trophy
went to the host nation following a fine display from Jorge Campos and Andy Pereira. Australia is getting ready to welcome the
commonwealth’s best athletes with the 2018 Commonwealth Games heading to the Gold Coast
in early April and there is good news for the host nation’s table tennis players after
a strong outing at the 2018 Oceania Championships. 12 of the 14 gold medals on offer at the event
went to Australia including both singles trophies. Yan Xin earned an impressive victory over
Heming Hu to claim the Men’s Singles prize while the Women’s Singles gold medal went
to Jian Fang Lay following her straight games win over Melissa Tapper. While Australia may not be favourites to pick
up any table tennis gold medals at the Commonwealth Games the host nation’s competitors will
at least head into the tournament with confidence on their side. If you enjoyed watching this video, subscribe
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