Table tennis Olympic champion Ding extends gold haul at Chinese National Games Published: 2017/9/7 19:23:55

Ding Ning. Photo: Cui Meng/GT


Photo:Cui Meng/GT


Photo:Cui Meng/GT


Photo:Cui Meng/GT


Ye Shiwen Photo:Cui Meng/GT


Photo:Cui Meng/GT


Photo:Cui Meng/GT

Table tennis world No. 1 Ding Ning has swept all tournaments she's involved since 2016, and now she added her first National Games title to her trophy list here on Wednesday.

Ding, the Rio Olympics champion and world championships winner in Duesseldorf of Germany on April, defeated world No. 4 Ye Shiwen in six games at the Chinese National Games by 13-15, 11-3, 11-4, 8-11, 11-5, 11-9 in 67 minutes.

Ding lost the first game after allowing two successive points with the scores being locked up in seven draws until Liu broke the tie in 13-13 thanks to Ding's return down the net and hitting the ball out of court.

Ding followed up with more aggressive attacks to collect the next two games, giving away just seven points in total in her 11-3 and 11-4 back-to-back stormy victories.

Liu pulled down the fourth game in 11-8 to put the score sheet level 2-2 on aggregate before losing the next two games 11-5, 11-8 without too much resistance.

Ding ascribed her victory to her devotion and determination to snatch the National Games title. "I have never won the National Games, so I had been aspiring to lift it for long. I had been eliminated early in the quarters at last National Games when it's one of my troughs," said Ding.

"In this four-year cycle of the National Games, I had experienced a lot, including a couple of titles from the most prestigious events, so I think last National Games had helped me in my upgrading."

Liu admitted she was not quite in form all through the year and is trying to find a new style for her play. "I'm adjusting myself to suit the apparatus change, so I had gone through a lot of fluctuations recently," said Liu.

"I don't think I played well, but I should be satisfied with my attitude in the tournament, that's you need to fight hard no matter who you're playing against and no matter what trouble you're facing with," added Liu.

Ding beat world No. 3 Zhu Yuling in seven games to reach the final. The semifinal match-up between them had been regarded as the pre-match of the title competition, in which Ding managed to win through tight contest in 11-6, 8-11, 11-9, 4-11, 7-11, 11-8 and 11-9 in 74 minutes.

Zhu had won the team's title as the leading player for team Sichuan and also reached the doubles final pairing up with world No. 2 Chen Meng.


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