Taiwan's Cheng, Lin grab second World Table Tennis title in Doha

03/13/2021 07:22 PM
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From second left: Lee Sang-su and Jeon Ji-hee of South Korea, Cheng I-ching and Lin Yun-ju of Taiwan. Photo courtesy of Zheng Jiaqi
From second left: Lee Sang-su and Jeon Ji-hee of South Korea, Cheng I-ching and Lin Yun-ju of Taiwan. Photo courtesy of Zheng Jiaqi

Taipei, March 13 (CNA) The newly minted world No. 1 mixed doubles pair Cheng I-ching (鄭怡靜) and Lin Yun-ju (林昀儒) won the mixed doubles title at the World Table Tennis (WTT) Star Contender tournament in Doha, Qatar, on Saturday.

The Taiwanese team, which rose four spots to the top ranking after winning the WTT Contender tournament a week earlier, beat world No. 5 South Koreans Jeon Ji-hee and Lee Sang-su 10-12, 11-8, 11-9, 11-6.

The second title met the goal set by their coach Zheng Jiaqi (鄭佳奇) when coming to Doha for the two consecutive tournaments.

The US$400,000 Star Contender tournament Doha was part of the International Table Tennis Federation's new WTT branding formally introduced this year for its global events.

Despite their performance as a team, neither player did well in their respective singles. Cheng only made it to the round of 16 in the women's singles and Lin was stopped in the quarterfinals of the men's singles.

Before the two came to Doha, they both competed in the China Table Tennis Super League in December as part of their training.

China, which is set to be a hub hosting upcoming WTT tournaments like Doha, announced in February that it will not send its players abroad before the Tokyo Olympics in July, citing concerns over the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

While Doha will next host two Olympic qualification tournaments from Sunday to March 20, Taiwan has booked its places in the men's and women's singles and team events, as well as a spot for Lin and Cheng in the mixed doubles at the Summer Games.

(By Kay Liu)

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