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Singapore big winner in Table Tennis
Wednesday, 27 May 2009

Top seeds, Singapore’s Gao Ning and Wang Yue Gu showed their class to win the respective Men’s and Women’s Singles titles at the 18th Commonwealth Table Tennis Championships in Glasgow on Monday 25th May 2009.

In the Men’s Singles event Gao Ning, the defending champion, clinched gold against India’s Sharath Kamal Achanta; whilst Wang Yue Gu succeeded against national team compatriot, Yu Meng Yu.

It was for Gao Ning a successful retention of the title he had won two years earlier in the Indian city of Jaipur, whilst for Wang Yue Gu it was one step higher; in 2007 she had lost in the final to Sun Bei Bei.

Two years later it was a different story.

Wang Yue Gu attacking quickly from the backhand in trademark style.

She won the first game in confident style, staying close to the table and forcing errors from Yu Meng Yu, as the eventual silver medallist tried to penetrate the blocking skills of the champion elect with aggressive attacking play.

However, in the second game, the topspin play of Yu Meng Yu started to reap dividends as her strong strokes from both wings left both Wang Yue Gu and the crowd gasping for breath.

She established a 10-5 lead and appeared to be on the path to establishing parity; from that point onwards, Wang Yue Gu was Miss Efficiency, she never put a foot wrong; whatever Yu Meng Yu offered, Wang Yue Gu provided a repost.

The no.1 seed won seven points in a row and was two games to the good. It was a body blow for the no.3 seed, who earlier in the day had ended the reign of second seed, Sun Bei Bei.

Yu Meng Yu recovered to win the third game but at the vital points went the way of Wang Yue Gu, the top seed prevailed, the disappointment of Jaipur was the joy of Glasgow.

Success for Singapore and soon after there was more success for Singapore to make the total haul of gold medal six, the Men’s Doubles being the errant prize.

Gao Ning proved too consistent, too safe for the explosive Sharath Kamal Achanta

The Indian star blazed a trail of destruction in the first and fourth games as a consistent top spin stroke from the backhand was followed by a forehand which was released with awesome power.

In particular, the power was very much in evidence as he raced into a 7-0 lead in the fourth game, eventually levelling matters but in the ensuing game it was the reverse scenario.

Gao Ning won the first six points, the tide had turned; gradually consistency overcame power.

Sharath Kamal Achanta, who had won gold in the Men’s Singles event at the Commonwealth Championships in Kuala Lumpur in 2004 and two years later the Men’s Singles crown in the table tennis events at the Commonwealth Games in Melbourne, had to settle for silver.

Once again the top prize was in the hands of Gao Ning, for Singapore, seven days of competition had come to a successful conclusion.

In the women’s Doubles competition, top seeds, Singapore’s Sun Bei Bei and Yu Meng Yu captured gold; they beat second seeds, Sara Yuen and Zhang Mo of Canada in the final, gradually acclimatising to the combination of the two young ladies from the continent of North America.

Finally in the men's doubles another country took the top honours. Subhajit Saha and partner Sharath Kamal Achanta, beat the top seeds Singapore’s Gao Ning and Yang Zi to clinch gold.

Men’s Singles: Final
Gao Ning (SIN) bt Sharath Kamal Achanta (IND) 11-7, 7-11, 11-9, 6-11, 11-7, 11-6.

Women’s Singles: Final
Wang Yue Gu (SIN) bt Yu Meng Yu (SIN) 11-8, 12-10, 7-11, 12-10, 11-9

Men’s Doubles: Final
Sharath Kamal Achanta/Subhajit Saha (IND) bt Gao Ning/Yang Zi (SIN) 11-8, 10-12, 13-11, 12-10

Women’s Doubles: Final
Sun Bei Bei/Yu Meng Yu (SIN) bt Sara Yuen/Zhang Mo (CAN) 4-11, 11-8, 11-5, 11-7


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