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China's Fan wins third straight ITTF World Cup

(Xinhua)    09:04, November 16, 2020

Gold medalist Fan Zhendong (C) of China, silver medalist Ma Long (L) of China and bronze medalist Harimoto Tomokazu of Japan pose during the awarding ceremony for the men's singles competition at 2020 ITTF Men's World Cup in Weihai, east China's Shandong Province, Nov. 15, 2020. (Xinhua/Zhu Zheng)

WEIHAI, China, Nov. 15 (Xinhua) -- Fan Zhendong became the first winner of three straight World Cup titles after he was crowned at the ITTF Men's World Cup finals here on Sunday.

Fan, who beat compatriot Ma Long 4-3, also became only the second player to win four World Cup titles in the 40-year-old history of the event, tying the record set by Chinese table tennis legend Ma Lin.

Winning 14 out of 18 head-to-heads with Fan in ITTF competitions, Ma has lost in their last two meetings. The Grand Slam winner opened with a 4-0 run on Sunday night and took the first set 11-3.

Top-seeded Fan bounced back to claim the following three straight sets 11-8, 11-3, 11-6, before Ma cut the deficit to 3-2 by 11-7.

Leading 10-1 in the sixth set, Ma managed to tie the game 3-3 with another 11-7 win.

Fan regrouped himself and took the decider 11-9 to nail down the victory.

"It feels so good to win a championship and I cherish this one even more as it comes from a very tough match," said Fan.

Tomokazu Harimoto of Japan came out as the winner of the 3rd-4th place match by edging out Jang Woo-jin from South Korea in another seven-game thriller 7-11, 7-11, 11-9, 11-6, 14-12, 6-11, 11-5.

"This was a tough match, finally I made it. I enjoyed the fierce competition," said the Japanese teenager.


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(Web editor: Wen Ying, Bianji)

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