Hu beats Ning to claim singles gold for Turkey

19 May 2017
Turkey's Melek Hu and Azerbaijan's Zhing Ning (yellow) competes in the Table Tennis Singles Women event during the Baku 2017.
(From L) Azerbaijan's Zhing Ning (silver), Turkey's Melek Hu (gold) and Azerbaijan's Miao Wang (bronze) attend the Table Tennis Singles Women medal ceremony during the Baku 2017.

Turkey's reigning European champion Melek Hu brushed aside home hope Ning Zhing 4-0 in the Islamic Solidarity Games women's table tennis singles final in Baku on Friday.

The Chinese-born player battled through a tight opening game, before racing to victory and claiming a crucial gold medal for her country in their race with Azerbaijan to top the overall medals table.

Hu saved two game points in a dramatic opener, which ended when Ning sent two forehands long as it finished 13-11.

Despite being cheered on by an enthusiastic crowd, Ning started to struggle in the second game.

The 28-year-old Hu totally dominated and doubled her lead with some fierce shots that her opponent could not lay a bat on at all.

The Fenerbahce player wrapped it up 11-4 in just a few minutes to close in on her second successive Azeri scalp, after seeing off Wang Miao 4-1 in the semi-finals.

Ning refound her rhythm in the third game but after two straight points forced sudden death, Hu repaid the favour to take it 12-10 and move to within one of the gold medal.

The world number 17 was far too good for the 17-year-old Ning and she closed out the match 11-4 with four points on the trot.

Wang made it two home players on the podium with a 4-1 victory earlier on Friday over Iranian Neda Shahsavari in the bronze-medal match.

© AFP Services

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