Taiwan table tennis phenom Lin continues ITTF winning ways

(Taiwan Today)

(Taiwan Today)

Taiwan’s Lin Yun-ju won bronze in the International Table Tennis Federation World Cup Dec. 1 in Chengdu, China, becoming the country’s first and youngest player to earn the honor.

The 18-year-old Lin, ranked 10th by the ITTF, defeated world No. 4 Ma Long of China 4-3 to claim US$44,000 in prize money. In the first game, Lin cruised to an 11-4 victory and repeated the result in the second with a 13-11 win.

But Lin took his foot off the gas in the third and fourth, allowing Ma to eke out 8-11 and 9-11 triumphs. The prodigious talent bounced back with a fighting 11-8 victory in the fifth, but went off the boil in the sixth to go down 5-11.

The seventh saw Lin prove his mettle by notching up nine unanswered points to win 11-4 and the highly coveted bronze.

During Lin’s post-match news conference, he described Ma as a powerful and respectable opponent. It is a privilege to medal and achieve for Taiwan on the ITTF stage, he added.

Lin, who has his sights squarely set on a medal at the 2020 Tokyo Games, started at New Taipei City-based Fu Jen Catholic University in September. The athlete-scholar is making full use of the institution’s elite sporting facilities as he prepares for the Olympics.