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China storm into men's table tennis final
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12:32, August 17, 2008

The star-studded Chinese men's team whitewashed South Korea 3-0 to storm into table tennis team final at the Beijing Olympic Games Saturday.

The all-conquering trio of Ma Lin, Wang Hao, Wang Liqin eased past underdog South Korea 3-2, 3-1, 3-0 in straight sets in less than two hours


Wang Liqin, Wang Hao, Liu Guoliang and Ma Lin, players and coach of China's team, wave to spectators after gaining the victory of Men's Team Semifinal between China and South Korea of Beijing 2008 Olympic Games table tennis event at PKU Gymnasium in Beijing, China, Aug. 16, 2008. China beat South Korea 3-0.
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Four-time World Cup winner Ma Lin was made to sweat in his clash with 15th-ranked Oh Sang Eun who fought hammer and tongs to lead the match but was denied 2-3 (8-11, 11-7, 12-10, 11-13, 5-11).

Ma Lin of China competes during Men's Team Semifinal between China and South Korea of Beijing 2008 Olympic Games table tennis event at PKU Gymnasium in Beijing, China, Aug. 16, 2008. China beat South Korea 3-0.

On the heels of Ma's advantage, world number one Wang Hao, 24, displayed unusual sangfroid to demolish reigning Olympic champion Ryu Seung-min 3-1 with Wang's every winning shot bringing cheers from frenzied home crowd.

Wang Hao (front) and Wang Liqin of China compete against Yoon Jae Young and Ch Sang Eun of South Korea during Men's Team Semifinal between China and South Korea of Beijing 2008 Olympic Games table tennis event at PKU Gymnasium in Beijing, China, Aug. 16, 2008. China beat South Korea 3-0.

Four years ago in Athens, Ryu Seung-min beat the then rising star Wang Hao in the final to clinch the most coveted singles title, a pity that China smarted over time and again.

Wang Liqin of China waves to spectators after Men's Team Semifinal between China and South Korea of Beijing 2008 Olympic Games table tennis event at PKU Gymnasium in Beijing, China, Aug. 16, 2008. China beat South Korea 3-0.

Wang Liqin/Wang Hao blanketed Yoon Jae Young/OH Sang Eun 3-0 in the tiebreaker before locking China's 3-0 victory.

Oh Sang Eun (R) and Yoon Jea Young of South Korea compete in the match against Wang Liqin and Wang Hao of China during Men's Team Semifinal between China and South Korea of Beijing 2008 Olympic Games table tennis event at PKU Gymnasium in Beijing, China, Aug. 16, 2008. China beat South Korea 3-0.

"I have prepared well for the difficultities that may crop up in the tournament. I never lost to Ryu since the Athens Games and was confident of wining the game," Wang Hao said.

Wang Hao of China competes during Men's Team Semifinal between China and South Korea of Beijing 2008 Olympic Games table tennis event at PKU Gymnasium in Beijing, China, Aug. 16, 2008. China beat South Korea 3-0.

"I managed to hold my nerves and control the competition rhythem while confronting Ryu and paired well with Wang Liqin in the tiebreaker," he added.

Ryu Seung Min of South Korea reacts in the match against Wang Hao of China during Men's Team Semifinal between China and South Korea of Beijing 2008 Olympic Games table tennis event at PKU Gymnasium in Beijing, China, Aug. 16, 2008. China beat South Korea 3-0.

"I play better as the tournament wents on. Compared with the singles event, I was under greater pressure during the team event. Today, I did not bring out my best and I accept to result," Ryu said.

As to Germany, Wang Liqin said that German squad is strong in over-all capability and China need to prepare well for the showdown.

"No matter how tough the battle will be, I believe that China will prevail," a determined Wang said.

Earlier on Saturday, European powerhouse Germany stormed over Japan 3-2 in a prolonged showdown to book a place in the men's table tennis team final.

The 210-minute clash was proved to be a tit-for-tat confrontation with players in both sides fight to their maximum ability to lead the match.

China will face Germany in the team final slated for Monday.

South Korea will take on Hong Kong, China while Japan will meet Austria Sunday on their way to scramble for the bronze medal.

The table tennis tournament, held in the 8,000-seat stadium in Peking University, is scheduled to last 11 days starting from Aug. 13.

Source:Xinhua

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171819202122232425
1 China 27 13 9 49
2 USA 17 18 22 57
3 Germany 9 5 5 19
4 Australia 8 10 11 29
5 South Korea 7 9 4 20
6 Japan 7 5 6 18
7 England 7 3 7 17
8 Italy 6 5 5 16
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