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China storm into men's table tennis final after beating South Korea
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The star-studded Chinese men's team whitewashed South Korea 3-0 to storm into the table tennis team finals at the Beijing Olympic Games on Saturday.

The mighty trio of Ma Lin, Wang Hao, Wang Liqin eased past underdog South Korea 3-2, 3-1, 3-0 in straight sets in less than two hours.

Four-time World Cup winner Ma Lin was made to sweat in his clash with 15th-ranked Oh Sang Eun who fought hammer and tongs to lead the match but was denied 2-3 (8-11, 11-7, 12-10, 11-13, 5-11).

On the heels of Ma's advantage, world number one Wang Hao, 24, displayed unusual sangfroid to demolish reigning Olympic champion Ryu Seung-min 3-1 with Wang's every winning shot bringing cheers from frenzied home crowd.

Four years ago in Athens, Ryu Seung-min beat the then rising star Wang Hao in the final to clinch the most coveted singles title, a pity that China smarted over time and again.

Wang Liqin/Wang Hao blanketed Yoon Jae Young/Oh Sang Eun 3-0 in the tiebreaker before locking China's 3-0 victory.

Earlier on Saturday, European powerhouse Germany stormed over Japan 3-2 in a prolonged showdown to book a place in the men's table tennis team final.

The 210-minute clash was proved to be a tit-for-tat confrontation with players in both sides fight to their maximum ability to lead the match.

China will face Germany in the team final slated for Monday.

South Korea will take on Hong Kong, China while Japan will meet Austria Sunday on their way to scramble for the bronze medal.

The table tennis tournament, held in the 8,000-seat stadium in Peking University, is scheduled to last 11 days starting from Aug 13.

(Xinhua News Agency August 16, 2008)

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