History made, first ever ITTF World Tour Mixed Doubles Champions crowned at the 2018 China Open
LIN Gaoyuan and CHEN Xingtong have made history by becoming the first ever ITTF World Tour Mixed Doubles champions by winning the Seamaster 2018 ITTF World Tour Kaisa China Open title today, 2 June, in Shenzhen, China.
The Chinese pair thrilled the packed crowd to defeat the Japanese pair of Masataka MORIZONO & Mima ITO 13-11, 7-11, 11-5, 11-8 to ensure they hold a unique piece of table tennis history.
Mixed Doubles was introduced to the ITTF World Tour on the back of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) announcing that Mixed Doubles will be a part of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games table tennis programme.
CHEN, who was the 2017 ITTF-Asian Championships Mixed Doubles Champion, entered the competition with LIN as the 6th seeds. The Chinese pair were one of 18 pairs equally eager to write their names into the history books.
Visibly elated, LIN said after the match: "Firstly, I am very happy to be the first ever mixed doubles champion and it is the first time working with Chen Xingtong. I thought our teamwork was very strong from the start and was confident of this win."
Heaping praise on her partner, CHEN added: "As the first ever mixed doubles champion, I must thank my partner. He is an incredible player and there is a lot I could learn from him. I hope we can make the 2020 Olympics as a team."
Mixed doubles will also be a part of another four ITTF World Tour events in 2018 plus the ITTF World Tour Grand Finals as players practice their partnerships on their quest for Olympic glory in 2020.
A sold out crowd in Shenzhen will be treated to some spectacular table tennis on the final day of the China Open tomorrow.
Olympic champion DING Ning will face off against the rising star of China WANG Mangyu in the women's singles final, while the men's final will be a rematch of the 2017 World Championships final between world number one FAN Zhendong and the winner of that final, six-time China Open champion MA Long.
The women's doubles final will be a clash between the Chinese pair of DING Ning & ZHU Yuling, and the Korean duo JEON Jihee & YANG Haeun. The men's doubles final will be a battle between FAN Zhendong & LIN Gaoyuan of China, and the giant-killers of the event Ovidiu IONESCU (ROU) and Alvaro ROBLES (ESP).