China secures a set of medals in table tennis worlds

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Budapest, April 26 (IANS) China had a clean sweep of women’s singles semifinal berths at the World Table Tennis Championships here on Thursday.

Olympic champion and world No. 1 Ding Ning beat arch rival Miu Hirono of Japan 11-8, 4-11, 11-2, 11-7, 11-9, the Xinhua news agency reported.

Hirono, the 2016 World Cup winner, had beaten the leading Chinese players including Ding, Zhu Yuling and Chen Meng en route to her 2017 Asian championship crown.

Chen Meng reached the semifinals with a 4-2 (9-11, 11-7, 11-7, 8-11, 12-10, 11-4) victory over Hong Kong player Doo Hoi Kem, while Liu Shiwen ousted Japanese Miyu Kato 11-9, 8-11, 11-4, 11-6, 11-5.

In an all-Chinese quarter-final, Wang Manyu outlasted Sun Yingsha 11-9, 10-12, 21-19, 11-6, 9-11, 11-8.

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In the men’s singles, No. 1 seed Fan Zhendong and No. 4 Tomokazu Harimoto were both eliminated in the round of 16, joining No. 2 Xu Xin in the seeded casualties.

Liang Jingkun beat fellow Chinese Fan in six sets (5-11, 11-4, 11-8, 11-9, 8-11, 11-7) while Harimoto suffered a surprise 4-2 (11-7, 3-11, 11-8, 11-7, 8-11, 11-9) loss to South Korean An Hae-hyun.

France’s Simon Gauzy, who knocked out second-seeded Chinese Xu on Wednesday, romped into the quarterfinals with a 4-0 victory over Slovakia’s Wang Yang.

Chinese Lin Gaoyuan overcame South Korean Jeoung Young-sik in straight sets to join his China team captain Ma Long in the last eight.

Ma, seeking a third straight world singles crown, crushed Brazil’s Hugo Calderano 4-1.

South Korea’s Jang Woo-jin advanced after German star Timo Boll pulled out of the game due to a fever.

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Xu pulled himself together as he combined with Liu Shiwen to beat an unseeded team of Fan Zhendong and Ding Ning 4-0 in the mixed doubles semifinals. They will take on Maharu Yoshimura and Kasumi Ishikawa on Friday.

Chen Meng/Zhu Yuling, and Sun Yingsha/Wang Manyu both advanced into the women’s doubles semifinals.

The men’s doubles semifinalists include Ma Long/Wang Chuqin, and Liang Jingkun/Lin Gaoyuan.

–IANS

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