They had ruled in Asia and Europe, and they came to Africa to show their supremacy, and this captured the feat achieved by China at the Durban 2023 WTTC which ended on Sunday, May 28 at the International Convention Centre (ICC) in Durban, South Africa.
Earlier on Saturday, May 27, China had claimed the doubles (men and women) as well as mixed doubles with Wang Chuqin earning two gold medals in doubles and mixed doubles.
In the singles, Fan Zhendong retained his men’s title after successfully defending the St. Bride Vase with a commanding 4-1 victory over Wang Chuqin (8-11, 11-9, 11-7, 12-10, 11-13, 11-3) in the closing match of the 2023 ITTF World Table Tennis Championships Finals in Durban.
In the women’s singles, Sun Yingsha also claimed the title with a 4-2 (5-11, 11-8, 11-7, 11-7, 7-11, 11-6) win over Chen Meng. It was Sun’s maiden gold medal, having gone down in the final two years ago in Houston.
However, legend Ma Long, widely regarded as one of the sport’s greatest, was honoured with a prestigious accolade in recognition of his extraordinary achievement of winning the Men’s Singles event three consecutive times in 2015, 2017, and 2019.
Ma Long was awarded a half-size replica of the historical St. Bride Vase Trophy by ITTF Deputy President, Liu Guoliang.
An emotional Ma Long said: “When I was young, I never thought that one day I would be standing here with this special trophy. Being here today is really an honour for me. I want to thank my country, our great team, my family, my friends and my fans, for always inspiring me, supporting me, and making me a better man. I also want to show my gratitude to my opponents, because without them, I would not be where I am today. I hope that more people will eventually know about table tennis and grow to like the sport. Thank you, South Africa. Thank you, Durban.”
Ma Long’s feat of securing the Men’s Singles title in three consecutive World Championships showcases his dominance over the years and has solidified his status as a true icon of the sport. Ma Long’s extraordinary achievements over his playing career also include winning five Olympic Gold medals, further cementing his status as a table tennis legend.
Source: ATTF Media