The JOOLA-sponsored Shandong Luneng Women’s Team – a team comprised of some of the best female table tennis players of this generation – were at the forefront of the 2021 Chinese National Games. The event is held every four years and hosts the top players from across China.
Led by current World Number 1 Chen Meng and bolstered by World Number 4 Wang Manyu, Shandong Luneng is a formidable force. Team members 2010 Youth Olympic Champion Gu Yuting, 2014 Youth Olympic Singles and Mixed Teams Champion Liu Gaoyang, Wang Xiaotong and Wei Yuanhui provided strong support. Highly regarded in the world of table tennis and often cited as the world’s most difficult table tennis event, the caliber of competition at the Chinese National Games is high. Featuring an incredible depth of players, many matches have the intensity and standard of an Olympic medal match. Before the launch of the contest, four of China’s best female players took part in a video interview, including both Chen Meng and Wang Manyu. In the interview, Chen agrees that the Chinese National Games is a more challenging than the Olympic Games.
The tough matches began straight from the group stage, with the Shandong team steering clear of near defeat on 2 of their 3 group matches. Heilongjiang and Shanghai would be halted in the deciding matches with Shandong prevailing 3-2 in both cases.
The team navigated past Tianjin, 3-1, and followed up with an impressive semifinal victory over Sichuan with a sweep of 3 matches to 0.
The final saw the Shandong Luneng team walk away with a silver medal. While the team had a spirited start with a 3-1 victory for Chen Meng over Liaoning’s Wang Yidi, it was the opposition who prevailed in the next three matches.
It was thrilling to see the team compete at such an incredible level and to see the best players in the world go head-to-head. Overall, Shandong Luneng was able to win five team matches on its road to the final, no small feat in the world of Chinese table tennis.
Congratulations to Shandong Luneng! TeamJOOLA is proud to join you on this journey and into the future.