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South Korea advances to men's table tennis semifinals
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20:02, August 14, 2008

South Korea beat Chinese Taipei to advance into the men's table tennis team semifinals at the Beijing Olympic Games here on Thursday.

The second-seeded South Korea, which whitewashed Sweden 3-0 Wednesday, battle hard to edge out Chinese Taipei, boasting 10th-ranked Chuan Chih-yuan and 23-ranked Chiang Peng-lung.

Defending champion Ryu Seung-min and Chuang were engaged in a seesaw confrontation with neither giving in until the last minute.

Known for his excellent forehand serve and fast backhand, Chuang rallied from one game down to blow a 2-1 lead 5-11, 11-8, 11-7.

But Ryu mounted gusty onslaught against a tenacious Chuang, wowing the crowd with their cross-court rallies.

Chuang managed to hold his nerves before emerging with a 19-17 victory and took the prolonged match 3-1.

Trailing 0-1 on set, South Korea did not lose stream and came back strong to dominate the following sets 3-1, 3-2, 3-2, sealing the whole match 3-1.

Meanwhile, Japan also made it to the semi-finals after outlasting Chinese Hong Kong 3-0. Japan's Kan Yo, Jun Mizutani scored two points before meeting tough challenge from Li Ching and Ko Lai-chak.

Li/Ko fought valiantly against teenage prodigy Mizutani and Seiya Kishikawa but failed to turn the table. The score for the showdown was 3-1, 3-1, 3-2.

The table tennis tournament, held in the 8,000-seat stadium in Peking University, is scheduled to last 11 days starting from Aug. 13. The men's team event final will be held Monday following the women's final on Sunday.

Source:Xinhua

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2 USA 10 9 14 33
3 South Korea 6 6 1 13
5 Germany 6 1 3 10
4 Australia 5 4 7 16
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