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May 30, 2017

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Taiwan's Chuang takes No. 1 in LA

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Taiwan's top table tennis player Chuang Chih-yuan (莊智淵) on Sunday won the championship title at the Los Angeles Open, beating his Canadian rival Eugene Wang (王臻) with a score 4-0.

The world's No. 7 player, Chuang had controlled the Sunday matchup against Wang. Only briefly trailing behind in the first game with a score 4-7, Chuang managed to secure all four games (11-9, 11-6, 11-8 and 11-9) to take a convincing victory over Wang, a member of the 2012 Canadian London Olympic national table tennis team.

A dominant presence at the L.A. Open, Chuang only lost one game in the six matches he played at the tournament. He took home the championship title as well as US$10,000 in prize money.

Commenting of his victory, Chuang told Taiwanese reporters in L.A. that he was happy to see many Chinese and Taiwanese fans at the L.A. Open venue despite the fact that table tennis is not as popular as basketball in the U.S.

Though he was suffering from serious jetlag, Chuang said he was happy to again visit the U.S. for the tourney.

Despite the convincing victory, Chuang said he has learned a lot in the matchups of the tourney and he believes he needs to make some adjustment in game strategy, especially when he's in the lead.

According to the L.A. Open's official website, the just-concluded event featured 300-plus players at 13 events for players of all ages and levels.

The 33-year-old Chuang, a southern Kaohsiung native, is Taiwan's No. 1 table tennis player.

 Chuang has been an internationally acclaimed table tennis player for more than a decade, with many accolades to his name including quarterfinal and semifinal finishes at the 2004 and 2012 Olympic Games.

 He and Chen Chien-an (陳建安) made history for Taiwan when the duo secured a victory in the men's doubles title at the World Table Tennis Championships in 2013, after beating formidable Chinese counterparts.

 It was Taiwan's first gold medal since it began competing in the world championships in 1985.

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