April 2, 1981|
|Playing style||Right-handed shakehand grip|
|Highest ranking||3 (December 2003)|
|Current ranking||7 (August 2016)|
|Club||SV Werder Bremen (Germany)|
|Height||1.69 m (5 ft 7 in)|
|Weight||60 kg (130 lb; 9.4 st)|
Chuang Chih-Yuan (traditional Chinese: 莊智淵; simplified Chinese: 庄智渊; pinyin: Zhuāng Zhìyuān; born 2 April 1981) is a Taiwanese table tennis player. Winner of ITTF Pro Tour Grand Finals 2002. As of August 2016 he is ranked 7 in the world.
Career in table tennis
Chuang's parents were both table tennis players in Taiwan. His father was a national doubles champion, and his mother Li Kuei-Mei was a member of the national team. After the end of Li's career as a player, her son, Chih-Yuan, became one of her prodigies in table tennis.
Chuang started competing in 1989, at the age of 8. From the age of 13 his mother sent him to China for training several times. Chuang first made it to the Taiwan national team in 1998. In 1999, Chuang made his World Championships and ITTF Pro Tour debut. At the end of 2000, his mother decided to let Chuang train in Europe, including France and Germany. The process made his matches a combination of the Chinese and European playing styles.
2002 was a sparkling year in Chuang's career. He reached his first three finals on the Pro Tour, but ended them all as the runner-up. He entered the world Top 10 list in September, won the silver medal at the Asian Games and participated in his first World Cup. At the year's end, he consecutively faced the opponents who defeated him in the previous three finals of the Pro Tour, and recorded three straight wins at the Pro Tour Grand Finals. He defeated Jean-Michel Saive in the quarter-final, Wang Hao in the semi-final, and Kalinikos Kreanga in the final, claiming the title of Grand Finals Champion.
Chuang won his first Singles title on the Pro Tour at the Brazil Open in 2003, and reached No. 3, the highest world ranking of his career, at the end of the year. He advanced to the quarter-finals in the 2004 Athens Olympics, ending the Games with a loss to Wang Hao. In the men's doubles, he and team-mate Chiang Peng-Lung reached the last 16, where they were beaten by Błaszczyk and Krzeszewski of Poland.
In July 2008, his own table tennis stadium, Chih Yuan The Ping-Pong Stadium, opened in Kaohsiung, Taiwan. The stadium not only operates for Chuang's training, but is opened for other players and the public. At that year's Olympics, he was beaten in the third round by Yang Zi of Singapore.
As of June 2012 Chuang plays for Werder Bremen in the Bundesliga in Germany (TTBL). He reached the bronze medal match at that year's Olympics, where he lost to Dimitrij Ovtcharov.
In May 2013, in the 52nd World Table Tennis Championships held in Paris, France, Chuang Chih-yuan and Chen Chien-an defeated Hao Shuai and Ma Lin 9–11, 12–10, 11–6, 13–11, 9–11, 11–8 in the final, and won the Men's Doubles title. Chuang and Chen became the first athletes in Taiwan to win any World Table Tennis Championship title.
- Olympics: semi-finals (2012)
- World Championships: round of 16 (2003, 2007)
- World Cup appearances: 10. Best record: quarter-finals (2006, 10)
- ITTF World Tour titles: 3 (Brazil 2003, Chile 2011 and Spanish Open 2012). Runner-up: 10 (Qatar, Japan, Dutch Open 2002; Danish Open 2003; USA, Japan Open 2004; Singapore Open 2006; Austrian, German Open 2008; Hungarian Open 2010)
- ITTF World Tour Grand Finals appearances: 12. Won in 2002.
- Asian Games: runner-up (2002).
- Best Male Athlete Award 2003 and 2012 from Sports Affairs Council, Executive Yuan, Taiwan.
- 41st Ten Outstanding Young Persons (2003) from Ten Outstanding Young Persons' Foundation Co., Taiwan.
- "ITTF world ranking". ITTF. Retrieved 2010-07-31.
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- "Athlete's Profile". 2014 Incheon Asian Games Organizing Committee. Retrieved 4 October 2014.
- "ITTF Biography". ITTF. Retrieved 2010-07-31.
- Chou, Li-Chiang (2008-05-16). 莊智淵的朋友與敵人 (in Chinese). mass-age.com. Retrieved 2010-07-31.
- 高雄新鮮人─莊智淵的桌球世界. Kaohsiung e-paper (in Chinese). Kaohsiung City Government. 2008-08-22. Retrieved 2010-07-31.
- "ITTF Statistics". ITTF. Retrieved 2010-11-08.
- Peter Jensen (2002-12-13). "Learning the hard way". ITTF. Retrieved 2010-07-31.
- Peter Jensen (2002-12-15). "CHUAN out on top". ITTF. Retrieved 2010-07-31.
- "Chuang Chih-Yuan biography and Olympic results". sports-reference.com/olympics/. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved 2010-07-31.
- "Official website of Chih Yuan The Ping-Pong Stadium" (in Chinese). Retrieved 2010-07-31.
- Huang, Chiu-Ming (2003-09-09). 92體育精英獎／莊智淵擊敗曹錦輝 摘下最佳男運動員 (in Chinese). NOWnews.com. Retrieved 2010-07-31.
- 莊智淵、許淑淨獲2012最佳運動員 (in Chinese). Liberty Times. 2012-12-06. Retrieved 2016-08-07.
- "Past Winners" (in Chinese). Ten Outstanding Young Persons' Foundation Co. Retrieved 2010-07-31.