Volkswagen 2005 World Championships: Wang Liqin completes full house
Playing in the city of his birth, on Friday 6th May 2005, Wang Liqin won the men's singles title at the Volkswagen 48th World Championships in Shanghai.
It meant that he regained the crown won in 2001 in Osaka; also it meant that he departed proceedings with a career full house.
Earlier, he had struck mixed doubles gold in partnership with colleague, Guo Yue.
Additional to the men’s singles in 2001 in Osaka, he was a member of the successful men’s team, whilst also partnering Yan Sen to men’s doubles gold. Two years later in Paris, the duo retained the men’s doubles title, before in Doha at the Liebherr 2004 World Team Championships, he was a on duty for the Chinese team who maintained their grasp on the Swaythling Cup.
However, in mixed doubles his previous best had been defeat at the semi-final stage; in 1997 in Manchester and two years later in Eindhoven, on both occasions partnering Wang Nan.
In Shanghai, in the men’s singles, in the later rounds he beat Hong Kong’s Li Ching (11-6, 11-4, 9-11, 10-12, 11-3, 6-11, 11-5), a contest that was to prove his closest en route to gold, prior to ousting colleague, Chen Qi (8-11, 12-10, 11-5, 8-11, 11-9, 11-3) to reserve his place in the penultimate round.
Undoubtedly gaining in confidence, he accounted for Korea Republic’s Oh Sangeun (11-7, 12-10, 11-2, 9-11, 11-6) and colleague Ma Lin (11-9, 3-11, 8-11, 11-9, 11-9, 11-7) to secure the top prize.
Meanwhile, in an event dominated by China, Wang Liqin and Guo Yue beat Liu Guozheng and Bai Yang in the final (11-4, 6-11, 6-11, 11-7, 11-9, 7-11, 11-6), having one round earlier ended the hopes of Yan Sen and Guo Yan (11-8, 10-12, 11-5, 11-5, 11-9).
The only title to elude Wang Liqin was the men’s doubles; once again partnering Yan Sen, the duo experienced a semi-final defeat when facing Kong Linghui and Wang Hao (13-11, 11-8, 2-11, 7-11, 11-7, 12-10).
For Kong Linghui and Wang Hao, the win was somewhat revenge; two years’ earlier in Paris they had been beaten in the final by Wang Liqin and Yan Sen (11-9, 11-8, 7-11, 11-6, 8-11, 11-5).
Kong Linghui and Wang Hao progressed to secure the top step of the podium; in the final they beat Germany’s Timo Boll and Christian Süss (11-9, 11-3, 11-9, 7-11, 11-6).
Notably in the penultimate round Timo Boll and Christian Süss had caused a sensation; they had ousted Chen Qi and Ma Lin, the top seeds (13-11, 3-11, 11-6, 15-13, 11-7) and to this day the reigning Olympic champions!