How Zhou Qihao earned the singles title
Zhou Qihao secured a huge title win in the Chinese table tennis Olympic simulation. The star wrapped up his run in the games by beating Fan Zhendong in six games to claim the singles title. That was one of his brightest wins so far and he is getting ready for the Tokyo Games.
The eighth-seeded star wrapped up a five-day wonder run at the Chinese table tennis Olympic simulation. He closed out the world no. 1 to deliver a huge upset win as he went on to claim one of the biggest wins in his career.
While the women’s singles event went as expected with Chen Meng winning the battle against Sun Yingsha, Zhou’s win was another story. That shocked a lot of fans in Chinese table tennis and it clearly set up a huge twist in the series.
Zhou was ranked 122 in the world overall. He shared the spoils with Fan to come up with a tight contest in the first four sets. Zhou later ran away with the next two sets, scoring 11-8 and 11-9 to close out his heroic run.
‘I had not expected to win’, Zhou said. ‘From group phase to quarterfinals, semifinals and the final, I competed against many outstanding players, so I just went all out in every game. I played 120 percent of my level in this competition’.
Fan later said that he failed to adjust quickly to Zhou’s plays. He said that he got the idea of doing so but lacked enough time to respond. He was a bit hesitant and gave too much space away for Zhou to attack.
Zhou held the upper hand from start to finish, and he did a great job beating Fan’s plays.
Zhou also came up with a massive win over Ma Long in the semis. Ma was the men’s singles champion from the Rio Olympics. It took seven full sets for Zhou to take the win over Ma. The latter played in a consolation match and won over Wang Chuqin.
Ma said that he had a tough time playing against Zhou and also claimed that the games were a good move to prepare them all for the Tokyo Games.
‘I had better control on crucial points’, said Ma. ‘We haven't played any competitive match for almost half a year, and staging this competition is quite necessary for our Olympics preparation’.
Zhou’s win in this tourney means a lot for China’s chances of winning in the Tokyo Games. He has shown so much grit in his games and winning over the best stars that China has to offer is a massive feat for any player.
China might just have a huge push in the coming Games as they hope to come up with a podium finish. Zhou will surely play a huge role in keeping China’s hopes of winning a gold medal alive in the long run.
Words: Paul Daniel Flores