Tue, Apr 03, 2012 - Page 18 News List

China sweep golds at team table tennis worlds

AFP, DORTMUND, GERMANY

China completed their sweep of gold medals at the world team table tennis championship on Sunday as their women beat defending champions Singapore and the men saw off Germany.

Both the China teams are defending Olympic champions after their men and women claimed golds at Beijing four years ago when the team event made its debut. China’s teams are favorites for gold at the London Games later this year.

Overall, China have won 36 gold medals in both the men’s and women’s world team championships since the tournament began in 1926.

After their men beat hosts Germany 3-0 in their final, China roared again as the women took revenge for their defeat two years ago in Moscow with a victory over Singapore.

“Again, we are world champions and that is well-deserved,” said China men’s coach Liu Guoliang, whose team won the title for the sixth time in succession.

“The German team is the strongest in Europe, I hope they continue developing,” Liu added. “We have felt a lot of pressure coming here, Germany is a nation that tests us, so we were even more prepared than for the last tournament in 2010. Every game was very close.”

Germany put up a brave fight as their top player, Timo Boll, came back from 2-0 down to level the first match before losing 3-2 to Zhang Jike.

“I’ve never played in front of such a fantastic backdrop. I was very motivated,” Zhang said.

Germany’s Dimitrij Ovtcharov was then dismissed 3-0 by Ma Long, but in the third game Patrick Baum took the first game against Wang Hao before falling to a 3-1 defeat.

In the women’s final, China’s Ding Ning put her side ahead with a 3-1 win over Feng Tianwei, while compatriot Li Xiaoxia also had few problems in her 3-1 win against Wang Yuegu.

It fell to Guo Yue to seal victory and she dominated Li Jiawei with a 3-0 win in straight games.

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