Petrissa SOLJA clinched first ever bronze for Germany at the World CupPhoto: ITTF
Liu Shiwen claims 4th gold at 2015 ITTF Women's World Cup
With a remarkable 4: 2 over European Games champion LI Jiao of Netherlands in the clash for the bronze medal at the Women’s World Cup, Petrissa SOLJA concluded the most successful tournament of her career. Third place and $ 150,000 in Japan are equally impressive as the way SOLJA reached the new highs.
SOLJA , who beat world number six FENG Tianwei of Singapore and World number four Ai FUKUHARA of Japan before her remarkable run, was finally stopped by the eventual winner, LIU Shiwen in the semi final.
42 year old LI Jiao proved that she was not slowing down with age, as she caused the biggest upset of 2015 by beating the number two seed and Asian champion ZHU Yuling of China in the quarter finals before coming up short against ISHIKAWA in the final four showdown.
SOLJA proved to be too strong in the bronze medal decider, winning 7-11, 6-11, 11-2, 11-8, 12-10, 11-8 against the tiring LI to become the first ever German to win an ITTF Women's World Cup bronze medal.
The success at the most important tournament after the Olympic Games and World Championships, catapult the 21-year-old player from Berlin in the Olympic year with the new perspective of the Rio 2016. By winning the bronze in such fierce competition, she proved she can be competitive in such fierce competition.
SOLJA who just briefly said: "I'm just totally happy" secured the first ever bronze at the Women’s World Cup for German in the history.
“The brilliant game that led her to the semi finals, crowned with success in the match for third place, meant that SOLJA finally justified her status as a top player. The match point against LI Jiao at the World Cup in Sendai came as masterpiece and she certainly set new standards.
“Peti has rose in Sendai to a new level – in terms of play, tactic and mental strength. She can play with success against the Asian players and that is very important for the motivation for entire team before the start of the Olympic Games,” said national coach Jie SCHÖPP.
LIU Shiwen has became the equal most successful player in ITTF Women's World Cup history by winning her fourth title in as many attempts at the 2015 ITTF Women's World Cup, which concluded today 1 November in Sendai, Japan. The 24 year old added the 2015 title to those that she claimed in 2009, 2012 and 2013, to be equal with the legendary ZHANG Yining with four ITTF World Cup crowns.
The world number two reached this historic feat by defeating the great Japanese hope Kasumi ISHIKAWA 14-12,11-2,11-9,11-2 in the final to silence the capacity crowd at the Xebio Arena.
After lifting the famous cup, Liu stated: "At the vital times, I really had to make sure that I was positive; certainly it is a greater honour to be named alongside ZHANG Yining winning four ITTF Women's World Cup titles. This victory will hopefully boost my chances of being selected in the Chinese Olympic team for Rio 2016."
ISHIKAWA was happy with her silver medal, but was disappointed she could not win a dream gold in front of her home crowd: "I led 10-9 in the first game. I had a chance, I missed the chance but Liu Shiwen is a superb player, overall I have to be pleased with my efforts in this tournament."
The world's best table tennis players now head to GAC Group 2015 World Tour Swedish Open which begins on 11 December. This is the final chance for players to collect priceless Race to Lisbon points to qualify for the prestigious GAC Group 2015 World Tour Grand Finals to be held in Lisbon, Portugal on 10-13 December 2015.