A delighted Fan Zhendong, four times the winner (Photo: Rémy Gros)
Masterful, Fan Zhendong retained his title at the Dishang 2020 Men’s World Cup in Weihai on the evening of Sunday 15th November.
Occupying the top seeded position, he overcame Chinese colleague, Ma Long, the no.2 seed, by the very narrowest of margins (3-11, 11-8, 11-3, 11-6, 7-11, 7-11, 11-9) to reserve the top step of the podium.
A successful title defence; also the win means Fan Zhendong now matches the record of compatriot Ma Lin. Between 1998 and 2007, he won the title four times.
Overall, Ma Lin made nine appearances, in addition to his titles he was a bronze medallist in 2005.
Most notably, on all five occasions when competing, Fan Zhendong has reached the final, the only loss being on debut in 2015 in Halmstad when beaten by Ma Long. On his next four appearances, he has always won.
He succeeded in 2016, before in 2018 returning to action in Paris.
Sunday 15th November
Fan Zhendong (CHN) bt Jang Woojin (KOR) 11-5, 11-8, 13-11, 11-8
Ma Long (CHN) bt Tomokazu Harimoto (JPN) 11-7, 3-11, 6-11, 8-11, 11-8, 11-6, 11-4
Tomokazu Harimoto (JPN) bt Jang Woojin (KOR) 7-11, 7-11, 11-9, 11-6, 14-12, 6-11, 11-5
Fan Zhendong (CHN) bt Ma Long (CHN) 3-11, 11-8, 11-3, 11-6, 7-11, 7-11, 11-9