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Wang Manyu, surprising winner at China's table tennis Olympic simulation

Xinhua | Updated: 2021-05-31 09:35
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Wang Manyu serves against Chen Meng during the China's table tennis Olympic simulation in Nanyang, Central China's Henan province May 30, 2021. [Photo/Xinhua]

NANYANG, China - Wang Manyu came out as a surprising winner at China's table tennis Olympic simulation here on Sunday, upsetting world No. 1 Chen Meng 4-2 in the women's singles final.

The 22-year-old, who's failed to get an Olympic spot after an internal competition and was only named in the Chinese squad as a substitute for Tokyo 2020, didn't open well but managed to come back from one set down.

Leading 3-2 on sets and 10-5 in the sixth set, Wang seemed to panic a little bit, wasting three match points in a row before finally making up her mind to go all out.

She wrapped up the title-winning match 7-11, 11-8, 13-11, 14-12, 4-11, 11-8.

"I was so desperate for a singles championship that I could hardly put my mind together when the victory was just around the corner," said the world No. 4, who last claimed a title in a women's singles event at the Qatar Open in earlier 2019.

"I know I'm a substitute with P-card that may not have a chance actually to debut on the Olympic stage, but I should be well prepared just like the Olympians. That's why I'm now playing a humble game and focus on every detail," she added.

Chen Meng, who's spearheading China's challenge to the Olympic women's singles and team titles, said before the evening's matchup that she'd firmly play her own table tennis, no matter who's on the other end of the table.

Despite missing out on the singles trophy in Nanyang, Chen, who lifted the trophy in the other Olympic simulation in Xinxiang earlier this month, finished on top of the overall rankings of the two trials.

Later in the other singles final, top-ranked male paddler around the world, Fan Zhendong, came back from 3-1 down to rally past Xu Xin 11-5, 10-12, 8-11, 9-11, 11-9, 11-7, 11-8.

Both Chen Meng and Fan Zhendong booked their places in the all-time leading Chinese team for the World Championships in Houston in November.

"Thanks to the selection regulation, I can earn a berth to the worlds on my own efforts through the trials. It's fair for everyone," Fan said.

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