Pivotal month, quietest month
The month of May concludes; since the end of World War Two when the final documents were signed to end hostilities on Sunday 2nd September 1945, the 31 day period has never witnessed such a time so bereft of sporting activity.
Usually, especially in the sport of table tennis, the month has been a period of high activity; most significantly it has been the month when world champions have been crowned.
Very much the players to enjoy the greatest success in the month are China’s Wang Liqin alongside colleague Deng Yaping; each won the respective men’s singles and women’s singles three times.
Wang Liqin won in 2001 in Osaka, 2005 in Shanghai, before retaining his title in 2007 in Zagreb. Meanwhile, Deng Yaping succeeded in 1991 in Chiba, 1995 in Tianjin and 1997 in Manchester.
Notably for Deng Yaping in Tianjin, it was a question of regaining the title. In 1993 in Gothenburg she had lost to Singapore’s Jing Jun Hong, the title finishing in the hands of Korea Republic’s Hyun Junghwa. It is the only occasion since the tournament was first held in 1926 in London that a player, other than from the People’s Republic of China, has won the women’s singles title at a World Championships when the competition ended in the month of May.
Three wins apiece for Wang Liqin and Deng Yaping in May; also from China, it is two wins for Zhang Jike, Ding Ning, Wang Nan and Zhang Yining.
Zhang Jike win the men’s singles title in Rotterdam in 2011 and retained the title two years later in Paris; similarly Wang Nan secured the women’s crown in 2001 in Osaka and 2003 in Paris, as did Zhang Yining in 2005 in Shanghai and 2009 in Yokohama. Meanwhile, Ding Ning prevailed in 2011 in Rotterdam and 2015 in Suzhou.
Editor: Ian Marshall