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World No 1 Fan secures title-winning hat-trick at table tennis World Cup

Xinhua | Updated: 2019-12-02 06:00
Fan Zhendong competes at the ITTF men's World Cup in Chengdu on Sunday. [Photo/Xinhua]

CHENGDU -- Table tennis world No 1 Fan Zhendong ruled out a possible dramatic ending at the ITTF men's World Cup here on Sunday, beating Japanese teenage sensation Harimoto Tomokazu 4-2 to lift the trophy.

It has been the third time that Fan was crowned at the annual major tournament, which is considered as one of the top three events of table tennis world alongside the Olympic Games and World Championships.

Facing a nothing-to-lose Harimoto, the surprising winner over Olympic champion Ma Long in the semifinals earlier on Sunday, Fan was forced to play all out as the defending champion found himself on throwing away a 7-4 lead to lose the first set 11-9.

22-year-old Fan then made a short work of his 16-year-old opponent, taking the second set on 11-4, but found it far from easy as Harimoto pulled one set back 11-6 in the third set.

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