THE RISE OF A WORLD CHAMP
The Straits Times|December 01, 2021
An Olympic reserve months ago, Wang beats Sun to win title and seeks to improve further
Laura Chia

Just six months ago, world No. 4 Wang Manyu was left out of China’s women’s main team for the Tokyo Olympics, named only as a reserve. But she was called upon to replace the injured Liu Shiwen and helped the Chinese claim a fourth straight team gold.

Riding on that momentum, Wang is now a singles world champion after she beat compatriot and world No. 2 Sun Yingsha 4-2 (11-13, 11-7, 6-11, 11-6, 11-8, 17-15) in the final at the World Table Tennis Championships in Houston, Texas, on Monday.

This is Wang’s maiden world singles crown and in the semi-finals, the 22-year-old avenged her 2019 loss to world No. 1 Chen Meng at the same stage with a hard-fought 4-3 win.

While Wang has won the women’s doubles and team golds, her previous best result in the singles was the joint bronze in 2019.

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