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First Success, Gao Ning Strikes Men’s Singles Gold

(Photo: ITTF)

Gao Ning has won the Men’s Singles gold medal at the Commonwealth Games for the first time in his career following a terrific campaign at the 2018 edition of the Games on the Gold Coast in Australia.

Silver medallist at the 2010 and 2014 Games in New Delhi and Glasgow, Gao Ning was determined not to miss out on the top prize for a third consecutive occasion but was handed a difficult task in the closing match of the 2018 Commonwealth Games with Nigeria’s Quadri Aruna providing the opposition in the final.

Heading into the event Quadri Aruna was many people’s favourite to secure the top step on the medals podium and was bidding to become the first Commonwealth Men’s Singles champion from Africa since fellow countryman Segun Toriola won the gold medal in 2002.

However, the wait for another African Commonwealth gold medallist goes on with Gao Ning defeating Quadri Aruna in a seven game thriller (11-7, 11-8, 5-11, 3-11, 11-9, 11-5) to hand Singapore the title for the third time in a row.

“Winning the fifth game was important but it was very difficult to predict the outcome of the match until the last point had finished. It was one of those matches were sometimes you win, sometimes you lose. It could have gone either way. Today I felt very calm. Twice I’ve been the runner up, now the winner but at the Commonwealth Games I’ve won Men’s Team and Men’s Doubles gold medals before; sure I’m happy to win, I just did my best.” – Gao Ning

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