DURBAN, South Africa, May 20 (Xinhua) – The Chinese paddlers scored a comfortable victory on Saturday at the opening day of the 2023 ITTF World Table Tennis Championships (WTTC) finals.
World No. 5 Liang Jingkun, the first Chinese player to appear in Durban, withstood challenges from New Zealand opponent Alfredo Della Pena in the first two matches, with Liang winning 11-8, 11-9. .
After that, Liang held tight control and won 11-2, 11-3 to qualify for the Men’s Singles Round of 64.
“Normally, it is not easy to play in the first match of a major tournament. At first, I was a little nervous and didn’t fit well in this arena, but from the third match, I gradually got used to the match.” Liang said.
Chinese team captain Ma Long, who is making his eighth World Championship appearance, also advanced to the second round with a straight-set victory over Argentinian veteran Gaston Alt.
“It was my first head-to-head matchup and I don’t know much about my opponent today. He showed some character on his serve and forehand,” commented Ma, who is now an Olympic singles gold medalist.
Like the men, the two Chinese women’s paddlers also asserted their authority en route to the second round.
Reigning Olympic champion Chen Meng beat Egypt’s Yusra Helmy 4-0 within 20 minutes, while Chen Sington beat Luxembourg’s Sarah de Nutte in straight sets.
“We have prepared well for the difficulties and the process in the first match here was as expected,” explained Chen Meng, not looking too far ahead and playing well in all our upcoming matches. emphasized that
Playing in his first match at the Durban World Table Tennis Championships, Chen Sing-Tong admitted to experiencing a bit of a mental ups and downs.
“We are still looking for better positioning towards the venue,” she said.
Chinese teenagers Lin Sidong and Kuai Mann beat hosts Chetan Nathu and Danisha Patel 11-5, 11-4, 11-4 in just 15 minutes in their first mixed doubles match. .
Durban World was the first marquee event in 84 years to be held on African soil.
In her speech Saturday night, ITTF President Petra Sohring said: “Having the World Championships here in Durban is not only a celebration of sport but also our dedication to spreading the impact of table tennis across different continents and cultures. It is also a symbolic expression,” he said. Opening ceremony.
World No. 119 Ibrahima Diaw of Senegal whitewashed South Africa’s Dean Levy, who is 450th in the world rankings, in the tournament opener between the two Africans in Table 1.
The first day of the tournament brought some surprises, as world No. 12 Sofia Polkanova of Austria became the first top-10 seed to be expelled from the tournament after losing to Dora Madarasz of Hungary in a thrilling seven-match match. .
Tokyo Olympic bronze medalist Dimitri Ovtcharov of Germany beat Frenchman Kan Akzu in the full match.
Celebrities such as Swedish prodigy Torrus Moregard, the world’s highest-ranked African player Quadri Aruna (Nigeria), Frenchman Ewan Janan, and Korean Jeon Ji-hee also advanced to the second round.
The remaining round of action at Durban Worlds continues on Sunday, with Chinese star paddlers Wang Chuqin, Lin Gaoyuan and Wang Yidi ready to battle for a spot in the round of 64.
http://www.newzealandnews.net/news/273837825/historic-table-tennis-worlds-kicks-off-in-durban Historic table tennis world kicks off in Durban