Liu Shiwen wins women's singles at 2019 Table Tennis World Championships
Liu Shiwen won the 2019 women's singles title at the table tennis world championships in Budapest, Hungary.
In an all-Chinese final, Rio 2016 Team gold medallist Liu defeated her younger rival Chen Meng by 4 games to 2.
The 28-year-old Liu had to settle for second place in the 2013 and 2015 singles finals.
Team player wins alone
This is Liu's 8th World title but her first ever singles win.
She had 7 world championships gold medals already in the bank, in Team, Doubles, and Mixed Doubles events.
Often looked over for the big singles' events at the Olympics, China's ultimate team player finally achieved the dream win and has a world championship title all to herself.
Final flourish for Liu Shiwen
After four tight games of sensational table tennis, in which Chen gave as good as she got and the scoreboard was locked at 2-2, the more experienced Liu went on a searing scoring streak of 14 unanswered points to take the fifth game 11-0.
It was the second time in her last four encounters that the number four seed had held an opponent to a love game.
Chen Meng, aged 25, had nothing to lose in the final game and played like her life depended on it, but Liu held her nerve taking the game 11-9 to win 4-2 overall.
Liu backs up win over reigning champion in semi-final
Liu had defeated her long time friend and defending world champion Ding Ning in the semi final 4-2 (6-11, 9-11, 11-5, 11-5, 11-0, 11-2).
Ding was aiming for a world championship three-peat after she was crowned champion at Dusseldorf in 2017 and Suzhou in 2015.
Chen had qualified for the World Championships by winning the Chinese national qualifying tournament. Olympic Channel were behind-the-scenes at that event ahead of the World Championships. You can watch the exclusive story of the tournament here:
WATCH: Behind the scenes at “One of the toughest tournaments in the world”
WATCH: Behind the scenes at “One of the toughest tournaments in the world”China produces the world’s best table tennis players. How did they perform under pressure at the Marvellous 12 competition, the national World Championships qualifier? Olympic Channel were given exclusive access to the event.
Men's doubles champions
China also took top honours in the men's doubles final.
Three-time Olympic gold medallist Ma Long and YOG Buenos Aires gold medallist Wang Chuqin beat Alvaro Robles and Ovidiu Ionescu.
In the absence of defending champions Fan Zhendong and Xu Xin, Ma and Wang were seeded 18th and playing together for the first time at an official tournament but still managed to go on and claim the top prize.
Spaniard Robles and Romanian Ionescu wrote their own paragraph of history becoming the first ever European silver medallists at the world championships.