Rong is first world champion
When China was hungry for their first world title to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China table tennis player Rong Guotuan made their dream come true.
Rong became New China's first world champion after he won the men's singles title at the 25th World Table Tennis Championships, in former West Germany on April 5, 1959.
Before the championships, the team had pinned their gold hopes on the men's team. But their dream of a world team title was destroyed by the Hungarian team in the semifinal match, losing three games to five.
After a chain of unexpected defeats to Chinese favoured for the title, Rong carried the heavy hopes to make a breakthrough.
Rong's rival in the final was top Hungarian paddler Ferenc Sido.
Rong was seen as an underdog for the title as he had just lost to Sido in the team contest. Even the victory flowers were being prepared for Sido.
But much to the surprise of the 8000-member audience, Rong won three straight sets with a big margin 21-12, 21-15, and 21-14 after losing the first set 19-21. Until that very moment, Rong realized the promise he made one year ago, that was to win a world championship for his motherland.
Two years later at the 26th championship for his motherland.
Two years later at the 26th championships in Beijing, Rong led the Chinese men to win the team title.
After becoming the coach of the Chinese women's team, Rong led the team to the winners' podium at the 28th championships in 1965.