Chuang Chih-yuan and Chen Chien-an will each receive NT$900,000 (US$30,033) from the government in recognition of their historic win over China in the men’s doubles category at the World Table Tennis Championships on Sunday in Paris, France.
It was Taiwan’s first gold medal since it began competing in the world championships in 1985.
“This is an important milestone in our table tennis history,” Chinese Taipei Table Tennis Association secretary-general Chen Ching-yen said.
Chuang and Chen Chien-an toppled their formidable Chinese opponents, Ma Lin and Hao Shuai, 4-2 (9-11, 12-10, 11-6, 13-11, 9-11 and 11-8) to secure the title.
Taiwan’s previous best result at the event had been a silver medal won by Chen Jing in the women’s singles 20 years ago.
“This is the first time in our history, so this is a good result,” said 32-year-old Chuang, a veteran player who ranks sixth in the world. “We played well and did very well tactically, both serving and receiving.”
Chuang was full of praise for his 21-year-old partner, Chen Chien-an.
“I think [he] is a very tactical player, he’s powerful and I play well with him,” the right-hander said.
Chen Chien-an, 28th in the world rankings, has enjoyed growing attention since he beat China’s Zhang Jike, last year’s Olympics men’s singles gold medalist, at the World Team Classic in March.
President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) said he was excited by the victory and was quoted as saying: “It’s a hard-won achievement that highlights the Taiwan spirit of perseverance and fortitude.”
Ma Lin, the 2008 Olympics table tennis singles champion and a four-time World Cup winner, praised the Taiwanese team as worthy winners.
“The team is a very good one, so it’s no surprise we lost,” Ma Lin said.
Hao struck a similar chord, saying: “We did well today but our opponents did better than us.”
The 34-year-old Ma Lin, who was appearing in his ninth and final World Championships, also announced his impending plans to retire from the Chinese team.
“After this championship I think will quit the national team of China because at my age I have to rethink my career and my life, but for now I don’t have any exact information. I don’t have the exact plans. I will tell the media when I get more information,” he said.
The Taiwanese duo’s surprise victory squashed China’s hopes of taking its 11th consecutive title at the world championships.
In Sunday’s game, the focus was almost entirely on the Chinese team and the result came as a surprise to many spectators.
In Taiwan, netizens celebrated the hard-won victory.
“The duo is the pride of Taiwan. A new era is dawning in our table tennis history,” one netizen wrote on PTT, the nation’s largest bulletin-board system.
Additional reporting by Reuters
The Lithuanian Ministry of National Defense recommended that consumers avoid buying Chinese mobile phones and advised people to throw away the ones they have now after a government report found the devices had built-in censorship capabilities. Flagship phones sold in Europe by China’s smartphone giant Xiaomi Corp (小米) have a built-in ability to detect and censor terms such as “Free Tibet,” “Long live Taiwan independence” or “democracy movement,” Lithuania’s state-run cybersecurity body said on Tuesday. The capability in Xiaomi’s Mi 10T 5G phone software had been turned off for the “European Union region,” but can be turned on remotely at any time,
CLOSE COOPERATION: A House of Representatives bill suggests inviting Taiwan’s navy to participate in the world’s largest international maritime military exercises The US House of Representatives on Thursday passed its annual defense policy bill, which includes provisions recommending that Taiwan be included in next year’s Rim of the Pacific Exercise (RIMPAC) and enhanced cooperation between Taiwan and the US National Guard. The House approved the US$777.9 billion National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2022 in a 316-113 vote. The 1,390-page bill includes three major provisions related to Taiwan under sections 1243, 1247 and 1248. Section 1248 recommends that the US invite Taiwan’s navy to participate in next year’s RIMPAC. Taiwan has never been invited to participate in the event, which is the world’s largest
CLOSED DOORS? The new US rules, which are to be implemented in November, have sparked concern in Taiwan, given its low fully vaccinated coverage rate The US plans to allow entry to most foreign air travelers as long as they are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 — while adding a testing requirement for unvaccinated Americans and barring entry for foreigners who have not received shots. The measures announced on Monday by the White House mark the most sweeping change to US travel policies in months, and widen the gap in rules between vaccinated people — who would see restrictions relaxed — and unvaccinated people. The new rules would replace existing bans on foreigners’ travel to the US from certain regions, including Europe. While the move would open the
‘FIGHT FOR VICTORY’: Eric Chu said his election victory would be the beginning of the DPP’s worries and that he would open all channels of communication with China Former New Taipei City mayor Eric Chu (朱立倫) was yesterday elected Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) chairman in a four-way race that included outgoing chairman Johnny Chiang (江啟臣). Chu, 60, garnered 85,164 votes, or 45 percent of the 187,998 KMT members who cast ballots. Sun Yat-sen School president Chang Ya-chung (張亞中) trailed behind with 60,632 votes, followed by Chiang with 35,090 votes and former Changhua County commissioner Cho Po-yuan (卓伯源) with 5,133 votes. Voter turnout was 50.71 percent. This will be Chu’s second time heading the party. He was elected KMT chairman in an unopposed by-election in January 2015 and resigned in January