WTT Star Contender Goa: World No. 8 Lebrun, Cheng I-Ching crowned champions
MAPUSA — The World No.8 Felix Lebrun of France and Chinese Taipei’s Cheng I-ching registered stunning victories to clinch the singles titles in their respective categories at the World Table Tennis (WTT) Star Contender Goa 2024 at the Peddem Indoor Stadium here on Sunday.
Lebrun lost the first two games before making a magnificent comeback to beat the World No.7 Hugo Calderano 4-2 (9-11, 9-11, 13-11, 11-0, 15-13, 11-7) in an enthralling men’s singles final. The Brazilian paddler began the contest on a positive note and won the first two games despite getting a tough challenge from Lebrun, who held his nerve to clinch the third game.
The 17-year-old teenage sensation showcased his sublime defensive prowess in the fourth game and won it without conceding a single point to his opponent. Lebrun carried forward the positive momentum into the next two games to emerge victorious against a fierce opponent.
Meanwhile, in the women’s singles final, Cheng I-ching, who finished as a runner-up in the competition last time, had a fairly comfortable outing as she defeated Germany’s Nina Mittelham. The Chinese Taipei paddler looked in complete control of the match from the beginning and defeated Mittelham 4-0 (11-8, 11-8, 17-15, 11-6) in straight sets to win the title in the tournament, co-hosted by Stupa Sports Analytics and Ultimate Table Tennis under the guidance of the Table Tennis Federation of India (TTFI).
Over 41 Indian paddlers participated in the tournament, marking the highest representation for the nation in a WTT event. Young Indian paddler Sreeja Akula’s quarter-final finish was the best result for India in the singles category.
Earlier, Shin Yubin and Lim Jong-Hoon of South Korea played brilliantly and got the better of Spain’s Alvaro Robles and Maria Xiao by 3-0 (11-2, 12-10, 13-11) in the mixed doubles final to secure the title.