Table tennis: Chinese women sweep Japan 3-0, claim 20th world team championships

China's world No. 1 Liu Shiwen in action during the final against Japan.
China's world No. 1 Liu Shiwen in action during the final against Japan.PHOTO: REUTERS

KUALA LUMPUR - China's women clinched their 20th title at the World Team Table Tennis Championships when they beat Japan 3-0 at the Malawati Stadium on Sunday.

Led by world No. 1 Liu Shiwen, the favourites proved too strong for second seeds Japan in front of thousands of Chinese supporters, many of whom were employees of the event's title sponsors Perfect, a Chinese firm which specialises in healthcare and beauty products. The company flew its staff to Kuala Lumpur to back the team.

Liu got her team off to a good start, beating Japan's world No. 4 Ai Fukuhara 11-5, 11-6, 11-8.

Team-mate Li Xiaoxia was up next against world No. 5 Kasumi Ishikawa. The reigning Olympic singles champion lost the first two games but mounted a comeback to win the next three games and take the second singles 6-11, 7-11, 11-9, 11-3, 11-5.

World No. 2 Ding Ning then wrapped up the title with an 8-11, 11-7, 11-8, 11-1 win over Japan's 15-year-old prodigy Mima Ito, as the Chinese women lifted the Corbillon Cup once more.

Singapore were the last team to break the Chinese stranglehold when they won the title in 2010.