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World Cup champ's misstep costs $57k

PUTTING A FOOT WRONG: Zhang lost his entire prize purse after destroying two advertising boards (behind him) while celebrating his win.


    Oct 28, 2014

    World Cup champ's misstep costs $57k


    IT TOOK him two days to earn US$45,000 (S$57,400), but two seconds of madness cost him all his hard-earned prize money.

    China's newly crowned World Cup winner, Zhang Jike, was fined his entire prize purse after destroying two advertising boards while celebrating his victory in Sunday's final.

    The Olympic table-tennis champion regained the World Cup title he had won in Paris three years ago by beating compatriot and top seed Ma Long in a dramatic final in Duesseldorf.

    He then proceeded to celebrate his 8-11, 11-4, 13-11, 7-11, 2-11, 11-5, 12-10 victory by putting his foot through two of the advertising boards that surrounded the court.

    The International Table Tennis Federation's (ITTF's) jury docked the champion's prize money, but the 26-year-old was quick to apologise.

    "I am very sorry for what I did," Zhang said on the ITTF website. "It was not acceptable behaviour and I am sorry.

    "This was a perfect victory, I have been under a great deal of pressure, with people questioning my form.

    "I am now very satisfied and very relieved, I would like to congratulate Ma Long on an amazing final; we really put on a table-tennis exhibition."

    Earlier, Germany's Timo Boll, who lost to Zhang in the semi-finals, picked up the bronze in the third-place play-off by beating Japan's Jun Mizutani in six games.