Delhi, India - May 10, 2013 - Crowned Pan American champion in October 2011 in the Mexican city of Guadalajara, Mo Zhang added to her trophy collection on Friday 10th May 2013 by winning the Women’s Singles title at the Commonwealth Championships in New Delhi.
The 24 year old Canadian had to overcome some high hurdles on her way to the Championship crown - against her opposition - and off the court. It took Mo Zhang four tries to get a visa to be allowed to play. In Vancouver, her application was denied twice. Then, she travelled to China for preparation and applied for a visa to India where she was told that she would get a visa - but it would not be ready until May 10, the last day of the Championships. Finally, with the help of the Indian Table Tennis Federation Mo got her visa two days into the tournament - she missed the team event and the Canadian team had to compete without her.
Seeded no.5, the Canadian overcame 2 members of Singapore’s highly successful women’s team (World Champion in 2010, Runner up in 2012 and Bronze medallist at the London Olympic Games.)
In the quarter-finals, Mo Zhang defeated #2 seed Zhou Yihan in impressive fashion by a score of 4-2. (11-8, 9-11, 12-10, 11-9, 11-6)
In the Finals, she accounted for Singapore’s Yu Mengyu at the final hurdle in a close seven games duel (11-6, 11-6, 11-6, 5-11, 10-12, 8-11, 11-8), after having ousted India’s Manika Batra, the no.8 seed, in an equally hard fought contest in the penultimate round (11-9, 10-12, 12-10, 6-11, 11-7, 10-12, 11-6).
In the corresponding semi-final, Yu Mengyu ended the host nation’s aspirations by overcoming Mouma Das, the no.11 seed, in six games (11-8, 15-17, 7-11, 11-8, 11-5, 11-4).
The victory prevented Singapore completing a clean sweep of title and ended their 15 year dominance of the event.
It is the first time in the 42 year history of the Commonwealth Championships that the Women’s Singles event has been won by a Canadian.