Chinese paddlers Fan Zhendong and Liu Shiwen came out from the first stage of team trials here on Tuesday, securing the berths in the men's and women's singles competition respectively at the World Table Tennis Championships, scheduled to be held in Dusseldorf, Germany in May.
The 26-year-old Liu Shiwen, who had been suspended by the team for three months last year due to "negative attitude" in World Cup, was the only one, among the total 24 male and female players, who won all the 11 matches in the first stage, including beating her teammate, the world number one Ding Ning 13-11, 11-9 tonight to rank first in the women's competition.
"I didn't think too much before the trials. I once considered about giving up (my career) at the end of last year, but after carefully thinking, I decided to comeback," said Liu.
"I felt grateful to the team and wanted to show my talent on the court. I could feel there is more potential inside myself, I just want to develop it in the coming three years before 2020 Tokyo Olympics. "
The world number two Fan Zhendong became the winner of the men's competition. The 20-year-old prevailed the Rio Olympics medalist Ma Long and world number three Xu Xin in the round-robin to top in the 12 candidates.
"I learnt a lot from this competition, in which the most important is confidence. I didn't play well at the beginning, but with the help from my coach, I adjusted myself just in time and find my level. I hope I can carry the form to the World Championships," he said.
The stage two is going to kick off on Thursday, in which one more player will join the remaining 11 players, and the total 12 paddlers will be divided into three groups. The first-ranked player of each group will advance to the final phase and fight for the second ticket to Dusseldorf.