Chinese women stormed into the semifinals of the Olympic team table tennis competition on Thursday, with an easy 3-0 win over Austria.
The squad of Zhang Yining, Guo Yue and Wang Nan, who had also whitewashed Croatia and Dominican Republic, became the winner of group A. The winner of any of the four groups will directly reach the semifinals.
World champion Guo beat 58th-ranked Li Qiangbing of Austria 11-7, 11-7 9-11, 11-4, before veteran Wang easily crushed Veronika Heine 12-11, 11-6,11-1. Fast-attacking Zhang followed, pairing with Guo to demolish a duo of 17th-ranked Liu Jia and Li Qiangbing 11-3, 11-3, 11-7.
China's star-studded women will play the winners of groups C and D in the semifinals. At the top of group B, Singapore also reached semifinals but will not meet China until the city-state makes the final.
The Singaporean squad, led by sixth-ranked Beijing native Li Jia Wei, scored a series of stunning 3-0 wins over the Netherlands, the United States and Nigeria.
Hong Kong and Germany will fight late Thursday for the top position in Group C, while South Korea and Japan will compete to be the first-finisher in Group D.
(Xinhua News Agency August 14, 2008)