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Team Asia win the Asia-Europe all-star challenge
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Olympic gold medalist Ma Lin survived a five-set thriller to help the Asian all-star team beat their European rivals 3-2 in the second round of the Asia vs Europe table tennis event on Wednesday.

The Chinese penholder, who scored in Asia's 3-2 first round win over Europe on Tuesday, edged Greek "backhand specialist" Kalinikos Kreanga 7-11, 11-5, 11-7, 7-11, 11-8, after Chinese Taipei's Chuan Chih-Yuan took the opening game against Swedish veteran 11-6, 11-5, 11-6.

Germany's Dmitry Ovcharova pulled one point back for Europe by overwhelming South Korean defensive player Joo Se Hyuk 11-6, 11-8, 14-16, 11-8.

Chinese star Ma Long secured Asia's victory as he whitewashed Vladimir Samsonov 11-9, 11-5, 11-6.

"I am on my way back to top form," said Ma. "Samsonov is a familiar opponent."

In the meaningless fifth game, Denmark's Michael Maze outlasted Hong Kong player Cheung Yuk 13-11, 6-11, 7-11, 16-14, 11-4.

The second leg of the Asia vs Europe event will be held in Istanbul, Turkey, on Nov. 10 and 11.

(Xinhua News Agency August 27, 2009)

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