Table tennis: Xiaoxin Yang secures silver in Poland

Monaco's Xiaoxin Yang in action in the European Games in Poland

Monegasque table tennis player Xiaoxin Yang narrowly missed out on gold in the third edition of the European Games in Poland on Tuesday. 

Fresh from her gold medal in the Games of the Small States of Europe in Malta earlier this month, Yang was within touching distance of securing another gold this week, this time in Krakow, Poland.

The top-ranked women’s singles player made light work of getting through to Tuesday’s final in the Polish capital, but came out on the wrong side of an epic final against Romania’s Bernadette Szocs.

A fatal fifth set

Yang looked dominant in the opening exchanges, racing into a 2-0 lead (11-4, 11-7) before Szocs hit back. However, having won the third set, Monaco were just one set away from gold, and having raced into a 4-0 lead, Yang could almost taste victory.

However, it was in this fifth set that the tables turned, and having won the fifth set (13-11), Szocs then stunned her opponent, overturning the deficit and winning 4-3 to take gold.

Yang, therefore, had to settle for silver, and post-match reflected on her narrow defeat.

“In the fifth set, I saw the victory in sight and so I gave my opponent a chance to come back into the match. Through this defeat, I will progress,” she said.

Photo credit: Stéphan Maggi

The silver medal was placed around Yang’s neck by Yvette Lambin Berti, Secretary General of the Monegasque Olympic Committee, who described the performance as “historic and unprecedented”.

In spite of the obvious disappointment, Yang will be motivated by her displays in Poland, adding further competition confidence to the Monegasque with just a year to go until the Paris 2024 Olympics.


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Photo source: European Games