All five finals at the GAC GROUP 2011 World Table Tennis Championships turned out to be all-Chinese affairs. The domination of the Asian megapower could not have been expressed more explicitly. On Sunday morning, public favourite Timo Boll did not succeed in becoming the only exception. The German, who felt so good in The Netherlands, could not avert defeat, going down 4-1 to Zhang Jike. For Boll there was one consolation; the bronze was his first singles medal in a World Championships.
“My match mentality was not the reason”, said the German. “I’m still disappointed at the moment, of course, but gradually this feeling will give way to the joy of winning a medal at last. A sort of weight has now been lifted from my shoulders.” On the Chinese:”They’re simply too strong and they deserve the medals. At major tournaments there are always a few Chinese in top form. The training level in China is terribly high. In order to beat the Chinese, everything must be right.”
In de final Zhang Jike defeated Wang Hao, filling up the last empty space in the row of Chinese winners. Ding Ning (ladies’ singles), Ma Long/Xu Xin (mens’ doubles), Guo Yue/Li Xiaoxia (ladies’ doubles) and Zhang Chao/Cao Zhen (mixed doubles) preceded him. The title of the national hymn, which translates as ‘The March of the Volunteers,’ must have rung true to many of those present in Ahoy.
Arise, ye who refuse to be slaves;
With our very flesh and blood
Let us build our new Great Wall!
The peoples of China are in the most critical time,
Everybody must roar his defiance.
Arise! Arise! Arise!