Boll ousted in table tennis semis

10:37, May 16, 2011      

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Timo Boll of Germany returns the ball during the semifinal of men's singles against Zhang Jike of China at the World Table Tennis Championships (WTTC) at Ahoy Arena in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, May 15, 2011. Timo Boll lost 1-4. (Xinhua/Wang Lili)

European top paddler Timo Boll of Germany failed to overcome Chinese player Zhang Jike, losing the men's singles semifinal 4-1 at the World Table Tennis Championships on Sunday.

Boll, 30, took the opening game 11-7, but the 23-year-old Zhang stunned the world No. 2 by winning the following four games 11-5, 11-3, 11-3 and 11-9.

"I was a little bit nervous in the opening game, but then I threw the heavy burden to Boll and pulled off an overwhelming performance," said Zhang who admitted that he outdid himself during the clash. "But I believe I have the advantage both in skills and tactics."

Zhang, competing in the individual event at the World Championships for the first time, is going to challenge defending champion Wang Hao later in the final as the world No. 1 edged out Chinese teammate Ma Long 11-7, 9-11, 7-11, 12-10, 11-7 and 11-9.

Wang, 27, came from 1-2 down to take the following three games. He was 9-10 down in the fourth game but played a touch ball to save the game point and then took the game in style.

The two-time Olympic silver medallist Wang admitted that the touch ball in the fourth game made a difference. "I am fortunate today," he said.

The all-mighty Chinese have made sure a clean sweep of gold and silver medals in the five events.

Source: Xinhua

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http://english.people.com.cn/90001/90779/94835/7380886.pdf