2020 Olympic silver medallist and 2014 Youth Olympic Games champion Fan Zhendong of China won this men's singles title Monday (29 November) at the 2021 World Table Tennis Championships in Houston, Texas.
Fan entered competition as the world No. 1 and showed that form early, taking a 2-0 lead quickly over 19-year-old Truls Moregard of Sweden. Fan never looked back from there, taking the title in dominant fashion, 4-0.
The title is the fifth world gold medal for Fan, but first in singles. Previously, he finished with silver (2017) and bronze (2015) in singles. His other world titles are team (2019, 2016, 2014) and doubles (2017).
China's Wang Manyu and Sun Yingsha faced off in the women's final. Earlier Monday, the duo teamed up to take the women's doubles gold medal, notching a 3-0 victory over Japan's Ito Mima and Hayata Hina.
But despite the earlier success as teammates, Wang and Sun's finals match up was intense with the score tied at two each after the first four games. Then, Wang won two games straight to take the title. The final game was a battle with each having several game points. Ultimately, Wang took the sixth game at 17-15 and the final, 4-2.
On Sunday, Germany’s Timo Boll and China’s Liang Jingkun claimed bronze medals, having been defeated in their respective semi-final matches. For Boll, a four-time Olympic medallist, it represents the first world singles medal since 2011.
In the women’s semis, China’s Chen Meng and Wang Yidi missed out on advancing to the final match and will share the bronze medal. Chen is the reigning Olympic champion and top-ranked player globally.