Top Chinese paddlers make it to Oly simulation finals, book berths at Worlds


World No. 1 male and female paddlers, Fan Zhendong and Chen Meng, made it to the singles finals of China’s Table Tennis Olympic simulation tournament here on Sunday.

With their performance, the two also secured their berths for the World Championships at Houston in November.

The 24-year-old Fan overcame a slow start and some unforced errors to rally past rising star Wang Chuqin, 10-12, 12-10, 11-6, 6-11, 11-9, 12-10, reported Xinhua news agency.

Fan could have wrapped up the match earlier as the 2016 World Cup winner led 6-4 in the sixth set but was overtaken 6-10 by the 21-year-old Wang. Fan then had to save four set points in a row before holding on to win the final game 12-10.

“I didn’t lose self-confidence even when I was trailing,” said Fan after the match.

Chen Meng came back from a game down to beat He Zhuojia 9-11, 12-10, 11-4, 11-3, 11-5. He Zhuojia had ousted the reigning world champion Liu Shiwen to reach the semis.

“I was a little nervous in the first set, but after pulling a game back, I felt relaxed and was able to play my table tennis in a comfortable way,” said Chen.