China has been too strong for any opponents as the table tennis
leaders' reserving squads of both men's and women's took 3-0 wins
on Tuesday at the Olympic test event.
Chinese men paddlers won their knockout event 3-0 over Hong Kong
to make the men's team final on Wednesday, while their counterpart
of the women's beat Hong Kong and the Europe United both in
straight sets in round robin.
The "Good Luck Beijing" event, namely the 2007 International
Table Tennis Invitational Tournament, runs with a goal mostly to
test the operation and facility of the Olympic table tennis venue
of the Beijing University Gymnasium, rather than the field
That means the competitions have few references to next year's
Olympics, though the event was specially ran for a change by the
sport's world governing body that team events take place of the
doubles ones in 2008.
Ma Long and Chen Qi has paired up on a temporary base, but the
new pair did not hesitate against Hong Kong's Li Ching and Ko Lai
Chak, beating the Athens Olympic silver medalists 11-7, 11-4, 11-5
breezily to make it short work for China to reach Wednesday's final
of the men's team event.
Earlier in the second singles match between the two sides, Hao
Shuai won a top-spin rally of over 20 hits against Tang Peng in the
decisive set for a 11-6, 11-8, 7-11, 5-11, 11-9 full-set victory,
after his teammate Ma Long bt Li Ching 11-8, 11-6, 11-6.
With the victory, China set up a final clash against arch-rivals
South Korea after the latter pulled down the Europe United 3-0 on
Lee Jung Woo, who plays traditional "Korean" style like former
Olympian and the national head coach Yoo Nam Kyu, defeated under-21
player Tiago Apolonia of Portugal 11-9, 3-11, 11-8, 11-6, while Lee
Jin Kwon upset established Vladimir Samsonov of Belarus 8-11, 7-11,
11-9, 11-8, 12-10.
Doubles specialists Cho Eon Rae and Lee Jung Woo beat Apolonia
and his Croatian partner Andrej Gacina 13-11, 11-6, 11-5 to seal
On the women's part, Guo Yan defeated Lin Ling breezily 11-9,
10-12, 11-8, 12-10, teenage Guo Yue beat Tie Yana 11-6, 6-11,
12-10, 5-11, 11-5, and Li Xiaoxia, winner of the ITTF ProTour
Finals on Sunday, paired with Guo Yue to win 11-4, 11-1, 11-9 over
Zhang Rui/Tie Yana.
"Both Hong Kong and China played very well today." said Li Sun,
coach of team China. "We were so close to each other, especially
the match between Guo Yue and Tie Yana."
Earlier on Tuesday afternoon, the Chinese women's team beat the
Europe United 3-0 in the first round.
Guo Yan won over Wu Jiaduo of Germany in three straight set,
11-4, 11-4, 11-3 before Guo Yue, winner of the Zagreb Worlds this
year, beat Boros Tamara of Croatia 11-7, 9-11, 11-5, 11-7, while Li
Xiaoxia/Guo Yue won 10-12, 11-7, 11-5, 11-2 over Boros
In other women's team matches, Hong Kong beat Singapore 3-1 and
Singapore beat the Europe 3-1.
(Xinhua News Agency December 19, 2007)