China crush Japan for men’s TT title

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Kuala Lumpur, March 6 (IANS) China routed a toothless Japanese team 3-0 to claim their eighth straight men’s title at the World Team Table Tennis Championships at the Malawati Stadium here on Sunday.

Rooted for by about 15,000 Chinese clad in either red or white, Xu Xin, Ma Long and Zhang Jike, ranked No. 3, No. 1 and No. 4 respectively in the world, beat Jun Mazutani, Maharu Yoshimura and Yuya Oshima, reports Xinhua.

Both Xu and Ma won in straight sets while Olympic champion Zhang, as a slow starter, lost the first set in his 3-1 victory over Oshima.

Last time China lost the men’s crown was in 2000 — right here in Kuala Lumpur, where Liu Guoliang, now China’s head coach, and Kong Longhui, now women’s coach, were stunned by an aging Swedish team led by Jan-Ove Waldner.

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Earlier, China took their third straight, 20th overall, women’s team crown after beating Japan 3-0 in the final, where the Japanese women put up a real fight, snatching three sets from Olympic champion Li Xiaoxia and world champion Ding Ning.

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