Men's singles champion Fan Zhendong (L) of China and women's singles champion
World No. 1 Sun Yingsha and Fan Zhendong of China emerged victorious in the women's and men's singles respectively at the ITTF World Table Tennis Championships (WTTC) Finals on Sunday.
In the all-Chinese finals, Sun made a career breakthrough by lifting her first World Championships singles trophy after defeating Olympic champion Chen Meng 4-2, while Fan retained his title with a 4-2 victory over Wang Chuqin.
With a narrow 5-4 lead across their previous head-to-heads, Chen grabbed an early foothold in the title showdown, moving one game ahead with a convincing 11-5 win.
However, Sun, who had fallen to teammate Wang Manyu 4-2 at the last hurdle two years ago in Houston, clawed back through her advantage in the rallies, taking a 3-1 lead by triumphing 11-8, 11-7, 11-7.
29-year-old Chen didn't succumb to her inferior position, pulling one game back at 11-7, but a determined Sun managed to close out an 11-6 victory in the sixth game.
Sun fell to the ground in celebration and walked to hug her elder teammate, before the two carried China's national flag to the cheers of a capacity crowd at the Durban International Convention Center.
China thus won the women's singles title for the 15th consecutive time at the Table Tennis Worlds, a stretch dating back to 1995.
Fellow Chinese paddler Chen Xingtong and Japan's Hina Hayata settled for bronze medals in the women's singles.
Later on Sunday, Fan dispatched Wang 8-11, 11-9, 11-7, 12-10, 11-13, 11-3 in a clash of the top two seeds.
Fan had a big chance to secure his win in five games, but wasted five match points as Wang showcased his tenacity and had a glimpse of turning the tables.
But Fan raced into a 7-1 lead in the sixth game and didn't allow Wang to come back on his way to the crown.
This is China's 10th straight men's singles crown, a run dating back to 2005.
China's Ma Long and Liang Jingkun shared the men's singles bronze medals.