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Home >> Sports
UPDATED: 08:08, August 29, 2005
China fail to make women's team final but through to men's semis
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Unseeded South Korea ruled out a clean sweep of China at the 17th Asian championships as they surprisingly rallied past the table tennis giants 3-2 in front of no more than a hundred local fans on Sunday to reach the women's team final.

It will be the first time in 13 years for China to miss the women's team final at the biyearly Asian tournament, but hopes kept alive for Chinese to lift the trophy as Hong Kong of China made a final berth with 3-0 win over Japan in the other semi-finalclash.

On the men's part, title favorites China swept aside Indian 3-0earlier the day as Wang Liqin, Wang Hao and Chen Qi took less thanan hour to clear the obstacles en route to the semis.

World champion Wang Liqin, overcoming a long-time neck injury which had been preventing him from shaking head or nodding, openedthe lead for the dominant China, racing past Achanta Sharath Kamal3-0 in just fifteen minutes.

Wang Hao also had a plain sailing with a 3-0 win over his opponent, but Chen Qi had to fight four sets for the victory.

The 21-year-old Chen met with harder resistance from Saha Subhajit of India but still managed to win by 11-5, 10-12, 11-7, 11-4.

China will next play Hong Kong of China in men's team semi-finals on Monday after the latter outlasted Vietnam 3-0 in anhour and a half, while South Korea beat Japan 3-0 to set up another semifinal meet with Chinese Taipei, who defeat Singapore 3-1.

In the women's team competition, South Korean teenager Moon Hyun Sung played the giant-killer twice to help the hosts reach the final.

Moon upset Olympic bronze medalist Li Jiawei as South Korea rounded off a 3-0 victory over Singapore in the quarterfinals.

Prior to Li's defeat, Singapore had been 1-0 set down followingXu Yan's 0-3 loss to South Korea's best defensive player Kim KyungAh in the opener.

Singapore missed their last chance to come back and exited from championship challenge as Zhang Xue Ling lost 11-5, 11-9, 11-9 to Kim Bok Rae.

Moon sprang another upset later in the day by beating world number two Niu Jianfeng in first match of the hosts' 3-2 semifinal win over China.

China's Guo Yue lost the second game against Kim Kyung Ah before her older teammate Guo Yan stemmed the losing skid with a win in the third. Guo Yue then made up her loss with a fourth-game victory over Moon to level the sets at 2-all.

But Niu Jianfeng failed to compensate for her opening-game loss, losing 3-0 to Kim Kyung Ah in the decider to complete China's woes at the semis.

"There's no excuse for our defeat, but weak nerve," said Lu Yuansheng, head coach of Chinese women's national team. "I think Niu Jianfeng was intimated by the tension of the competition rightinto her first match against Moon Hyun Jung."

"And the South Koreans did play smarter than us. They didn't change their lineup but put Moon Hyun Jung in the first game against meet Niu Jianfeng and left a defensive player (Kim Kyung Ah) for Guo Yue to play in the second game," he added.

With the surprising exit of China, Hong Kong of China become the favorites to win the women's team title against the hosts South Korea after they pulled off a 3-0 win over Japan, led by talented teenager Fukuhara Ai.

Source: Xinhua


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