Apr 28. Preview Final Day: Crunch time in Budapest, destiny awaits
After seven days of incredible action in Budapest the Liebherr 2019 ITTF World Table Tennis Championships has reached its final day and what a day it’s set to be with two spectacular matches on the way as the men’s singles and women’s doubles events draw to a close.
Here’s a closer look at the two fixtures coming up on Sunday 28th April:
Kicking the proceedings off is the match many have been looking forward to with great anticipation as the men’s singles final sees China’s Ma Long battle it out with Sweden’s Mattias Falck from 1.30pm local time.
Chasing a third consecutive title no.11 seed Ma Long has enjoyed a fantastic men’s singles campaign which has seen him overcome the likes of Belarusian legend Vladimir Samsonov, Brazilian superstar Hugo Calderano and fellow compatriots Lin Gaoyuan and Liang Jingkun on his way to the final.
A surprise opponent awaits the Grand Slam winner with Mattias Falck defying all the odds on his journey, having accounted for sixth seed Lee Sangsu, Simon Gauzy and An Jaehyun, who enjoyed a stunning campaign himself.
On the final day of play Ma Long is the big favourite to succeed especially considering the fact that he has never lost out to his upcoming opponent on the international stage and has experienced the men’s singles final on two prior occasions, winning in 2015 and 2017.
However, Mattias Falck has deservedly reached the final off the back of his own doing and will be heartened by the fact that the last time a Swedish player reached the final Jan-Ove Waldner went on to lift the trophy in 1999 and if that wasn’t encouraging enough the last time a European made it to the final hurdle Austria’s Werner Schlager won gold in 2003!
Once the identity of the men’s singles champion has been determined it will be time to shift our focus to the final match of the Liebherr 2019 World Championships with the women’s doubles final scheduled for 2.30pm.
The top seeded pair for the competition Hina Hayata and Mima Ito are aiming to live up to expectations surrounding their seeding position and could potentially be set to lead Japan to a seventh gold medal in the women’s doubles category with the country’s last success coming 44 years back in 1975. Bronze medallists in 2017 – does the title await for the Japanese pair in Budapest?
Awaiting them in the final is another young partnership in the form of Sun Yingsha and Wang Manyu, who are eyeing up impressive feats themselves as they chase China’s 16th consecutive women’s doubles gold medal and its 23rd overall in the category since the formation of the World Championships – will the young Chinese duo enjoy a golden finale to their debut?
Be sure to watch the action unfold live with itTV and follow the live blog throughout the course of the day for all the latest from Budapest.