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People's Daily Online>>Sports

HK tops group to reach table tennis quarters

(Xinhua)

09:47, March 29, 2012

DORTMUND, Germany, March 28 (Xinhua) -- Hong Kong was the last women's team to qualify directly for the quarter-finals of the World Team Table Tennis Championships in Dortmund on Wednesday.

Earlier on Wednesday tournament favorite China and number two seed Singapore already secured a place in the last eight after their fourth consecutive victory and the Japanese women had already qualified on Tuesday.

Group D was the most exciting of the four with Hong Kong and South Korea both finishing on top with four wins and one loss. However, based on Wednesday's direct win against South Korea (3-2), Hong Kong finished first. South Korea was accompanied by number three Russia to the second round.

Number two Romania and number three Hungary qualified for the second round in Group A. China managed to win its fifth match in a row, beating the United Stated 3-0. Guo Yan, Guo Yue and Liu Shiwen all won in straight sets against Ariel Hsing, Lily Zhang and Erica Wu respectively.

Liu Shiwen crushed her opponent 11-1, 11-5, 11-3.

"Generally speaking I played well in the match," she told Xinhua. "Because this is my first performance here, I want to have more exercise and more practice."

Ding Ning is positive about the current form of the team. "The form of every Chinese player is good right now," she said. "I should find my form more quickly in the match and make more preparation for the difficulties in the match."

In Group B the Netherlands finished second behind Singapore by defeating DPR Korea 3-2. After Li Jiao and Li Jie gave the Netherlands a comfortable lead, Elena Timina lost 3-2 to Kim Hye Song and Li Jiao also lost to Kim Jong (3-1).

Li Jie took the deciding fifth game by beating Ri Myong Sun 3-0 (11-9, 11-6, 12-10.

DPR Korea had to settle for a third place in the group, but also qualified for the second round. Reigning champion Singapore was already sure of a direct place in the quarter-finals and posted its fifth victory against Sweden (3-0).

In Group C Germany secured the second place by beating Serbia 3-2 in an exciting match in the main arena. In the decisive fifth match Zhenqi Barthel beat Monika Molnar 3-2 (8-11, 11-6, 11-5, 12-14, 11-7). Japan finished first and Poland ended third.

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