Standing in their way was the team comprised of Gu Yuting, Chen Xingtong and Sun Mingyang, who gave it their all but ultimately fell short.

Starting off the contest was the doubles, as the pair of Chen Meng and Wang Manyu stood opposite Gu Yuting and Chen Xingtong. In the first game, Gu Yuting and Chen Xingtong raced ahead into what looked to be an unavailable 9-5 lead only for Chen Meng and Wang Manyu to take things up a notch, claiming six consecutive points and the game. The passive Chen Meng and Wang Manyu broke out suddenly and scored six points in a row. Psychologically both pairs appeared drastically affected by the events of game one and before long the match concluded. Chen and Wang never looked back and emerged 3-0 victors (11-9, 11-7, 11-4).

“From the beginning of the team competition, I didn’t want to play singles anymore. The team matches are faster than the singles… I have to let myself face the team matches with a relaxed attitude.” Chen Meng

Gu Yuting and Sun Mingyang unable to strike doubles win

Next up it was Sun Yingsha’s time to shine as she stepped up to meet Sun Mingyang in the first singles encounter. Sun Mingyang’s style has been likened to that of Japan’s Mima Ito, a player who potentially carries the biggest threat to China’s Olympic aspirations. A tight opening game, it was Sun Mingyang who came away smiling with the slight advantage across the 24 points. Favourite for the win, Sun Yingsha formed the perfect response and managed to reverse the advantage with back-to-back game successes. In what proved to be the closing game, Sun Mingyang held a 9-8 lead but Sun Yingsha didn’t falter at the critical moment, sealing the win by a 3-1 margin (11-13, 11-4, 11-9, 11-9).

“We have prepared for this as though it was the real Olympics, this was a good simulation test to prepare for the Japanese team, treating it as a real final, preparing for any difficulties.” Sun Yingsha

Producing the goods in the match opener, Wang Manyu returned to the table once again as she and Chen Xingtong met in fierce competition. The more comfortable of the two in the early stages of play, Wang showed great maturity to her approach and took advantage of Chen’s consistency errors. Down by two games, Chen kept up the fight, looking for any weakness in her opponent’s game but she proved unsuccessful as Wang wrapped up the title race with another dominant performance (11-7, 11-5, 11-9).

Another impressive display from Wang Manyu in Lingshui City

The other fixture of the day saw the team of Wang Yidi, Qian Tianyi and Liu Fei collect women’s team bronze.

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