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China dominates team events at Olympic test tourney
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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 competitions.

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 Tuesday afternoon.

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 the victory.

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 Tamara/Barthel Zhenqi.

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)

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