Seamaster 2019 ITTF World Tour Hungarian Open
Sunday 20th January
Three month suspension for Zhou Yu
Zhou Yu has been suspended for three months by the Chinese Table Tennis Association and his coach, Ma Jungfeng, for one month following an incident in the opening round of the men’s singles event at the Seamaster 2019 ITTF World Tour Hungarian Open in Budapest on Thursday 17th January.
Playing against Chinese Taipei’s Chuang Chih-Yuan, trailing by three games to two, he ripped off the black rubber from his racket in front of the assistant umpire. The racket no longer usable, Zhou Yu requested he used his spare racket; this is contrary to the Regulations for International Competitions.
Correctly the umpire immediately summoned the referee, Marta Szily, who had no alternative other than to disqualify Zhou Yu.
Regulation 126.96.36.199 states: A racket shall not be replaced during an individual match unless it is accidentally damaged so badly that it cannot be used; if this happens the damaged racket shall be replaced immediately by another which the player has brought with him or her to the playing area or one which is handed to him or her in the playing area.
The racket was not damaged thus Mata Szily proceeded.
Regulation 188.8.131.52: The referee shall have power to disqualify a player from a match, an event or a competition for seriously unfair or offensive behaviour, whether reported by the umpire or not; as he or she does so he or she shall hold up a red card; for less serious offenses which do not justify disqualification, the referee may decide to report such an offense to a Disciplinary Panel.
The official outcome is that Zhou Yun is suspended from Thursday 17th January to Wednesday 17th April; Ma Jungfeng from Thursday 17th January until Sunday 17th February.
Clean sweep for China
Five titles on offer at the Seamaster 2019 ITTF World Tour Hungarian Open in Budapest, when play concluded on Sunday 20th January, all five belonged to China; Lin Gaoyuan and Chen Meng winning the respective men’s singles and women’s singles titles to bring proceedings to a conclusion.
In the latter stages Lin Gaoyuan, the no.3 seed, accounted for Vladimir Samsonov of Belarus at the quarter-final stage (10-12, 11-7, 7-11, 11-9, 12-10, 11-9), before overcoming colleague Xu Xin, the no.2 seed (14-12, 11-9, 11-6, 11-9) to reserve his place in the final where Wang Chuqin awaited.
Required to compete in the qualification tournament, once again Wang Chuqin displayed his liking for Budapest; one year earlier he had reached the final losing to Fan Zhendong, one year later he extracted revenge.
After recording a quarter-final success in opposition to Brazil’s Hugo Calderano, the no.4 seed (5-11, 11-6, 11-8, 11-4, 12-14, 11-5), he accounted for Fan Zhendong, the top seed (7-11, 11-7, 13-11, 5-11, 12-10, 3-11, 11-9) to reserve his place in the title decider. A spirited performance but Lin Gaoyuan was a young man with a mission; he prevailed in four hard fought games to gain the verdict (13-11, 12-10, 11-8, 11-9) to secure the top prize.
All four semi-finalists from China; it was the same in the women’s singles event.
Following success against Wang Manyu, the no.3 seed and defending champion (11-9, 11-9, 11-7, 7-11, 11-5), Chen Meng, the no.2 seed, beat Zhu Yuling, the top seed, to secure gold (9-11, 11-7, 11-13, 13-11, 11-4, 11-5). In the opposite half of the draw, Zhu Yuling had ousted Liu Shiwen, the no.4 seed, by the very narrowest of decisions (5-11, 11-9, 8-11, 8-11, 11-6, 11-9, 12-10).
Semi-final exits for both Xu Xin and Liu Shiwen, together it was gold; they won the mixed doubles title beating the host nation’s Adam Szudi and Szandra Pergel in the final (11-3, 11-6, 11-5), the only title deciding contest that was not an all Chinese affair.
Notably following the success recorded by Xu Xin and Liu Shiwen, Wang Manyu and Zhu Yuling had beaten Chen Meng and Sun Yingsha (8-11, 11-7, 15-13, 11-2) to be crowned women’s doubles champion; soon after Liang Jingkun and Xu Xin overcame Fan Zhendong and Lin Gaoyuan (7-11, 11-7, 12-14, 11-7, 11-3) to claim men’s doubles gold.