Men’s Singles: Final
For the third time in four years it’s Fan Zhendong’s name that will appear on the trophy after the Chinese star successfully fought back from behind to be crowned Chengdu Airlines 2019 ITTF Men’s World Cup champion.
Trailing 1-5 in game six Fan found a new lease of life, winning eight points in a row. Harimoto manages to claw two points back but when facing championship point the Japanese teenager makes a fault service to hand the home favourite the title (9-11, 11-4, 6-11, 11-8, 11-2, 11-7).
Fan rewrites the history.
He now joins Vladimir Samsonov of Belarus and colleague Wang Hao who each won three times; he is now one win behind the all-time most successful Ma Lin who won four times. Furthermore, he becomes only the third player to successfully retain the title; Ma Lin achieved the feat in 2003 in Jiangyin and in 2004 in Xiaoshan, Wang Hao in 2007 in Barcelona and the following year in Liège.
LIN – Youngest ever bronze Medal Winner
Meanwhile for Lin Yun-Ju, at 18 years and 105 days old he becomes the youngest player in the now 40 year history of the tournament, the event being first staged in 1980 in Hong Kong, to secure third place.
Harimoto – Youngest finalist
However, he is usurped by Tomokazu Harimoto, at 16 years and 157 days old, he is the youngest finalist ever; the player he beats, Fan Zhendong. He was 18 years and 269 days old, when he reached the final stage on Saturday 17th October in Halmstad.