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体坛英语新闻:Chinese paddlers target at regaining title at Men's World Cup

Source: Xinhuanet    2018-11-09  我要投稿   论坛   Favorite  

PARIS, Oct. 18 (Xinhua) -- China's hopes of regaining ITTF Men's World Cup title hinge on Fan Zhendong and Lin Gaoyuan as the two paddlers took their pre-tournament practice here on Thursday.

The table tennis powerhouse lost the crown in an unfamiliar manner last year in Belgian city of Liege, seeing Lin Gaoyuan and Ma Long falter consecutively in front of German veteran Timo Boll. Boll's compatriot Dimitrij Ovtcharov finally stood atop the podium.

"Champions are our only target," China'a coach Liu Guozheng told Xinhua after the two-hour practice session, also admitting that strong opponents are waiting ahead.

"Paddlers from some European countries and Japan perform quite well. However, the most important thing is to focus on ourselves," he pointed out.

"If we can adjust ourselves well both physically and mentally, and make full preparation for every match, I think that we still have a big chance," commented Liu.

World No. 1 Fan and Lin made into the Asian Games final back in September, when Fan bagged the gold medal.

"I hope that through these two days' adjustment, I can do well during the tournament," said Fan.

Fan had some sweet memories to relish at the World Cup, where he claimed his first singles title at world major tournaments, namely Olympic Games, World Championships and World Cup, two years ago.

"Back then I was a challenger. Something has changed now, but what's unchanged is my desire to win the champions," he commented.

For the 23-year-old Lin, the quarter-final loss to Boll at the 2017 edition was agonizing, as he conceded six match points to let the match slide away.

"That was my first appearance at the World Cup. I was not quite mature then. Now I have more experience," he said.

Lin sets his sight on a final spot and hopes that he can do well against paddlers from other associations.

"I lost to the two German paddlers (Boll and Ovtcharov) in recent outings. If I made into the final, I would try my best to win the title," he said.

The 39th ITTF Men's World Cup will run from Friday until Sunday in Disneyland, located in eastern suburb of Paris. Fan and Lin, both among eight top-seeded players, will kick off their campaign in Saturday's knockout stage.


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