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Table Tennis News and Reviews » Blog Archive » Ma Long Captures Third Place in Liège

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  • 29Sep

    China’s Ma Long secured the bronze medal place in the Liebherr Men’s
    World Cup in the Country Hall Ethias in the Belgian city of Liège.

    He
    beat Kalinikos Kreanga in the crucial play off match on the afternoon
    of Sunday 28th September 2008 in a contest betweeen two of the world’s
    most dynamic table tennis players.

    Ma Long won 7-11, 11-6, 11-5, 11-6, 11-8.

    It
    was the first time that Ma Long had played in the prestigious annual
    event and it was the first time that the two had met in a world ranking
    competition.

    Mighty Strokes
    Both
    Kalinikos Kreanga and Ma Long are players with the most devastatingly
    powerful strokes; the Greek star has arguably the world’s most dynamic
    backhand whilst for Ma Long, few possess a forehand that is so powerful.

    In the first game it was the backhand of Kalinikos Kreanga that was in the ascendancy and he was the player with the fortune.

    Forehand
    The first game had seen the backhand of Kalinikos Kreanga in top flow, the second game saw the forehand of Ma Long in top gear.

    He
    established a 5-1 lead, the Greek star reduced the arrears to 7-6 but
    never gained parity. Ma Long secured the game and the match score was
    level.

    Consistent to Backhand
    The
    policy of Wang Hao in the semi-finals had been to consistently attack
    the backhand of Kalinikos Kreanga, using heavy topspin as opposed to
    speed.

    Ma Long followed that policy in the third game.

    He
    dominated the early stages moving into a 6-1 lead; it was a lead he
    never relinquished and from having been one game to nil in arrears, he
    was now one game to the good.

    Controlled
    In
    similar vein to the contest between Wang Hao and Kalinikos Kreanga it
    was a case of weathering the storm; in the fourth game Ma Long did just
    that.

    Kalinikos Kreanga threw the kitchen sink at Ma Long, the
    twenty-two year old Chinese star blocked with aplomb and the Greek
    strained every sinew to play a winning stroke.

    Ma Long controlled the game, he win with a degree of comfort and was two games to the good.

    Writing on the Wall
    The writing was now on the wall; in the fifth game Ma Long sped into a 6-2 lead; Kalinikos Kreanga called "Time Out".

    He tried to play expansive winners, it was to no avail, Ma Long was in control.

    Task Completed

    At
    8-5 he took a "Time Out" to collect his thoughts at the insistence of
    coach, Qin Zhijian, he came back and duly completed the task.

    In his first ever Men’s World Cup third place was secured; a fine effort but no doubt he had hoped for more.

    Source: www.ittf.com

    Posted by ttfan @ 10:32 pm

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