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Wang Hao wins Men's World Cup
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Top seeded Chinese Wang Hao smashed Ryu Seung Min in straight sets to win the 2007 men's World Cup on Sunday, atoning for his Athens Olympic final defeat to the South Korean.

Top-seeded Wang Hao of China beat South Korean Ryu Seung Min 4-0 and won the table tennis men's World Cup on Sunday, Oct 14, 2007.

The current world number one was made to battle a prolonged first game before surging into a lopsided 14-12, 11-3, 11-8, 11-7 victory for his first-ever men's singles world title, in sharp contrast to the Athens final where Ryu clinched a swift win in five games.

Earlier in the bronze medal match, reigning world champion Wang Liqin beat European champion Timo Boll for a third time bronze medal finish in this tournament.

The third-seeded Chinese, recovering from a shock semifinal defeat to Ryu, needed only half an hour to secure a quick 11-8, 11-7, 11-3, 11-9 win.

"I think what I have achieved justifies my world ranking," said Wang Hao. "As I did well in the semifinals and the finals, I'm happy about that."

He eliminated European champion Timo Boll during the semifinals in the same blitzing way, beating the German 11-8, 11-8, 11-7, 11-4.

"I think I'm much more experienced than before, and I've learned how to control the rhythm. I play with more stability by combining tactics with a more relaxed mind.

"In the last two world cups, I had led big in the finals only to squander the edge and the title in the end. This timeI avoided making the same mistake," he added.

In the Olympic final, nerves got the best of the Chinese, who was only 21 at the time, and Ryu was the man who had reveled in big occasions.

But in Barcelona, Wang's composure, penetration and his appetite for a gold medal was just too much for Ryu.

The opening game saw Ryu establish an 8-6 lead before Wang held his nerves in check.

Then the two switched points from 9-all to 12-all. It was the Chinese who captured the next two points, making good use of attacking the opponent's backhand.

The second game went even easier for Wang and the Olympic champion seemed to be simply giving up as he only extracted three points.

Ryu was struggling to find the form when he ousted four-time world cup winner Ma Lin and Wang Liqin.

He managed some long rallies against Wang Hao to woo spectators but the top seed asserted his authority, concluding matters in the fourth game.

"I had a lot of lucky points against Ma Lin and Wang Liqin. And they were not in the best form," Ryu said.

"Wang was too strong. I tried different tactics but couldn't score points.

"But it's a good practice before the Olympic Games next year. I'll try to do well next time," he said.

(Xinhua News Agency October 15, 2007)

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