Wang Manyu (L)/Kanak Jha compete in the 64 mixed doubles match between Wang Manyu of China/Kanak Jha of the United States and Mariia Tailakova/Vladimir Sidorenko of Russia at the final of the 2021 World Table Tennis Championships in Houston, United States on November 23, 2021. (Xinhua/Wu Xiaoling)
HOUSTON, Nov. 24 (Xinhua) — China-United States mixed doubles pairs Lin Gaoyuan/Lily Zhang and Jha Kanak/Wang Manyu took outright victories on their debut as the World Table Tennis Championships kicked off here on Tuesday.
The younger generations who continue the spirit of Ping-Pong Diplomacy initiated between the two nations half a century ago, the two combinations were confirmed on Sunday to participate in the draw by the international sports organization ITTF and had just on the eve once trained together. of the world opening.
In Tuesday’s competition, Lin/Zhang passed Portuguese Tiago Apolonia/Shao Jieni 11-6, 11-9, 11-7, while Jha/Wang overcame a mediocre mid-match and Russian athletes Vladimir Sidorenko/Mariia Tailakova 11- 6 defeated, 19-17, 11-7.
“It’s the first time we’ve been paired together in a competitive match,” said Lin after partnering with Zhang to win the first match and reach the 32-way mixed doubles round.
The fifth seed of the men’s singles praised his American partner: “She is a brilliant player and a solid partner. I see her playing better as the match progressed.”
“I’m very nervous before the game, especially because I know that my partner Lin is a world-class paddler. But we played quite well together and had good communication on the pitch, which boosted my confidence,” said Zhang.
The other combination between China and the US faced more of a challenge in their encounter with Russian couples, while Wang Manyu, the newly crowned champion of the Olympic women’s team in Tokyo, chose to see the bright side of a tough competition.
“It’s a real test for us to face the strong Russian duo, but we played better than we expected, way beyond my expectations,” she said.
“Jha is a good attacker and has kept a positive attitude even in a difficult time. It is good for the cooperation and I feel the trust between the two of us,” Wang added.
“Victory is a good start,” echoed Jha. “We will practice more together, get to know each other better and then play better.”
In singles, Chinese rowers in action, including Wang Chuqin and Zhou Qihao in men’s singles, as well as Chen Xingtong in women’s singles, made it easy to advance to the second round, all in 4-0, while leading paddlers such as world No. 1 Fan Zhendong and Chen Meng were given a bye in the early stages.
The shocking news on the opening day of the world championship came in the first round of men’s singles, when star men’s singles player Jang Woojin was ousted by Russian Kirill Skachkov and fellow South Korean An Jaehyun lost to Jha, both 4-3 .
The second day competitions continue with China’s Fan and Chen starting their campaign in the men’s and women’s singles respectively, while the men’s and women’s doubles also kick off here on Wednesday. End Item
Lin Gaoyuan (L)/Lily Zhang compete in the mixed doubles round of 64 match between Lin Gaoyuan of China/Lily Zhang of the United States and Tiago Apolonia/Jieni Shao of Portugal in the final of the 2021 World Table Tennis Championships in Houston , United States on November 23, 2021. (Xinhua/Wu Xiaoling)
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