Table Tennis: Schläger ends Austria's wait for crown

Click to follow
The Independent Online

Werner Schläger became the first Austrian in 66 years to win the World Championships when he beat South Korea's unseeded Joo Se-Hyuk 11-9, 11-6, 6-11, 12-10, 8-11, 12-10 here.

The last Austrian world champion was Richard Bergmann, who clinched his title in 1937. This year was the first time since 1997 that China did not have a male finalist.

Schläger, seeded sixth, showed stunning resilience at key moments in his march to a first title. In his quarter-final against the defending champion Wang Liqin, he saved four match points before defeating the fourth-seeded Chinese player in seven sets.

In his semi-final against China's Kong Linghui, Schläger survived match point in the final set against the Olympic champion before triumphing 11-9, 7-11, 12-10, 11-8, 8-11, 7-11, 14-12. In the other semi-final, Joo, ranked 66th, prevented an all-European affair when he dominated Greece's ninth-seed Kalinikos Kreanga by a 11-5, 3-11, 11-7, 11-8, 12-10 margin.

In Saturday's all-Chinese women's final, Wang Nan won her third straight world title. She overcame the top seed Zhang Yining in a seven-set thriller, winning 11-7, 11-8, 11-4, 5-11, 6-11, 8-11, 11-5.

Comments