commitment . determination . success

Eugene Zhen Wang On the Podium at Swiss Open
Lausanne, Switzerland - February 11, 2013
Returning to competition from a four-week training camp in Hebei Province in China, Eugene Wang was primed for competition when he entered the Swiss Open. Three World Championship and Olympic medallists- Dimitri Ovtcharov (GER), Vladimir Samsonov (BLR), Jo Saehyuk (KOR) and rising French star Adrien Mattenet travelled to Lausanne, the seat of the Olympic movement and the headquarters of the International Table Tennis Federation.

In the group stage of the competition Wang, who calls Ottawa his home and trains at Table Tennis Canada's National Training Center, dominated his opponents eliminating the eventual runner-up of the group, Swiss Hu Jia Shun, by  a score of 4-0.

In the first round of the main draw, Hungary's Adam Pattanyus was no match either for the quickly improving Canadian. 

The quarter finals would present Wang with a challenge: the French #1 Adrian Mattenet, 2011 World Cup Quarter Finalist, and number 4 seed of the tournament. After a rough start (11-13 in game 1) Mattenet seemed to take control by taking a 2-0 lead in this best of 7 encounter. Undeterred, Wang kept up his spirit and closed the gap by taking game 3 (11-5). Mattenet was able to take one more game to move ahead 3-1, but then it was all Wang: 11-8, 12-10, 11-4 and the 27-year old Canadian had reached a guaranteed spot on the podium.

Vladimir Samsonov, one of the greats of table tennis would prove too big a hurdle in the semi-finals. Winning game 1 and 4, the Canadian kept pace until 2-2. In game 5, Wang had his chance to move ahead 3-2, but the seasoned Samsonov, when presented with an opening, took game 5 by the closest of margins (12-10) to go ahead 3-2 eventually winning the match 4-2.

"I played well here in Lausanne, but I still lack a bit of match experience," Wang analyzed his performance. Eugene Wang will be joined by Canada's #1 junior Hongtao Chen and Canadian team coach Yongjun Duan in Kuwait City for a Super Series World Tour event.
Photos by René Zwald/STTOL