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DPR Korea Completes 'Mission Impossible'
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DPR Korea, long-time bridesmaid in world table tennis, upstaged 13-time world champions China led by world top two players in the women's team final in Ulsan on Friday night, pulling off an upset victory that will go down in both Asian Games and table tennis history.

It reminds the 1991 world table tennis championships, in which a united team of two Koreas stopped China's winning streak in the women's team event.

But this time, DPR Korea made it alone - and on South Korean soil.

In DPR Korea's first ever appearance in a multi-sport event held in South Korea, its players repaid a zealous crowd with a crisp 3-1 win over the Chinese team led by world top ranked Wang Nan and No. 2 Zhang Yining

Kim Hyang-mi crushed Olympic and world champ Wang Nan 3-0 after Zhang downed Kim Hyon-hui in the opening game. Kim Yun-mi edged out Chinese youngster Li Nan 3-2 and Kim Hyon-hui wrapped up their victory with a 3-1 beating of Wang Nan.

Japan and Singapore finished joint third.

China had to look for good news elsewhere.

Chinese swimmer Xu Yanwei became the first quadruple gold medalist of the games, securing a nearly insurmountable 16-11 lead of China over Japan in the swimming pool.

With China running away with 71 golds, South Korea, vowing to retain its runner-up slot in overall medal race, rounded up nine golds on the sixth day of action, cutting Japan's overnight 5-goldedge to two.

Two world records were created as China bettered a 13-year-old world standard in the women's sport pistol and Kazakhstan's Sergey Filimonov smashed another in weightlifting.

Xu Yanmei, 18, added the women's 50m freestyle gold to her 100 freestyle and two relay titles. China's 3-2 win over Japan Friday night has virtually spoilt Japan's hope to beat the arch rival in the 34-event Asiad swimming, with the last five golds to be contested on Saturday.

Chinese Wu Peng, 15, won the men's 400m individual medley and his teammate Yu Cheng took the men's 1,500m freestyle.

Japan lifted two golds from the 4x100m medley relay gold and Reiko Nakamura's women's 200m backstroke.

China broke a world record and won the team title in the women's 25m sport pistol in the shooting range.

Tao Luna and Li Duihong, Olympic champion in 2000 and 1996 respectively, combined with Chen Ying to score a new world record total of 1,768 points.

The previous world record of 1,764 was set by the former Soviet Union team of Lolita Tsvetkova, Nono Salukvadeze and Svetlana Smirnova in the 1989 European championships.

China also won the men's 10m running target team and individual events and women's sport pistol individual gold. Kazakhstan's Olga Dovgun took the women's 50m rifle prone individual gold and South Korea got the team title.

Kazakhstan's weightlifter Sergey Filimonov broke a world record in the snatch and went on to win the men's 77kg division.

China's Li Hongli matched Filimonov's lift of 173kg in the snatch but then missed all three tries at 197.5 in the clean and jerk. The two Asian lifters broke the mark of 172.5 set by Plamen Zhelyazkov of Bulgaria in March.

Eight golds were awarded in five gymnastics events.

Chinese Teng Haibin and DPR Korea's Kim Hyon-il split the pommel horse golds and Chinese Huang Xu and South Korean Kim Dong-hwa finished joint first in rings.

Chinese Zhang Nan and DPR Korean Han Jong-ok shared the top of podium in uneven bars.

The men's floor exercise title went to South Korean Kim Seung-il and Oksana Chusovitina of Uzbekistan landed the women's vault top honor.

South Korea swept both the men's sabre team and women's epee golds.

In wrestling, South Korea won two golds with China and Uzbekistan taking one each.

Malaysia, Vietnam and the Philippines joined the gold tally on Friday.

Malaysia won the men's squash and women's bowling doubles and Vietnam struck its first gold in billiards. The Philippines lifted the men's doubles bowling gold.

On the medal tally topped by China, Japan placed second with 24golds, followed by South Korea in 22, DPR Korea and Kazakhstan, both in six.

(People's Daily October 5, 2002)

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