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China chalks up breathtaking victory at world table tennis
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Title favorite China overcame its setback in the opening game by world champion Wang Liqin and rallied past lower class Romania on day two of the world team table tennis championships in Guangzhou, China on Monday.

Wang, three times singles champion of table tennis worlds, stunned the audience by losing to Andrei Filimon, ranked 74th in world, in his first outing.

Trailing 1-2 on set, Wang failed to adjust himself in time and missed the last chance to come back despite a time-out called by head coach Liu Guoliang.

Chen Qi, holder of the Athens Olympic doubles title, avenged Wang's loss by troucing his opponent 3-0, leveling 1-1 in the first two rubbers.

World number one Wang Hao continued China's rising morale pulling off a clean sweep with a lightning speed.

Back on court, the tall Wang Liqin did not let the audience down by blanking the Romanian 3-0 to ensure China a breathtaking win.

"I didn't adjust myself well following a 1-all at set, which was the main reason for my defeat," said Wang after the match.

Liu blamed Wang's losing ground on his constraint in fighting. "He took the match too seriously. Both Wang and the whole Chinese team need to draw a lesson from it to prevent a recurrence of such scenario, especially at the Olympic Games."

In earlier matches of Group B, Czech Republic's Josef Simoncik staged a nail-biting match against Kim Jung Hoon of the South Korean team despite the squad's final defeat by its Asian rival 1-3. Chinese Taipei overcame a tenacious Sweden to wound up 3-2 and Hungary eliminated Poland with the same score.

Also in Group A, Italy and Austria beat Belgium and Croatia 3-1 respectively.

China will play Croatia on Tuesday.

(Xinhua News Agency February 26, 2008)

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