Channel NewsAsia
Updated: Saturday, 18 May 2013 22:21 | By Channel NewsAsia

Table Tennis: Singapore's Feng crashes out of world championships

Table Tennis: Singapore's Feng crashes out of world championships

Table Tennis: Singapore's Feng crashes out of world championships

PARIS: Olympic bronze medallist Feng Tianwei of Singapore crashed out in the quarter-finals of the World Table Tennis Championships in Paris on Saturday.

Feng lost 11-7, 11-5, 11-6, 11-7 to China's Zhu Yuling, leaving China assured of gold in the women's singles.

Earlier, Olympic champion Li Xiaoxia knocked off top seed and title-holder Ding Ning in a thrilling contest to reach the final.

Third seed Li had reduced Ding to tears after pipping her to the Olympic crown in London last August, and there was more heartbreak for the world number one as Li this time triumphed in the French capital with an exhilarating 8-11, 11-1, 4-11, 13-11, 11-6, 11-8 victory.

Li's opponent in Sunday's title match will be either second-ranked Liu Shiwen or World No.6 Zhu Yuling, who meet in the second semi-final later on  Saturday.

Earlier, Liu shook off a slow start against Turkey's Melek Hu to reach the last four - equalling her performances in 2009 and 2011 - following a 7-11, 11-5, 11-5, 11-9, 11-5 victory.

World No.2 Ma Long was the first man into the quarter-finals as he fended off Japan's Koki Niwa to triumph 11-5, 9-11, 11-7, 9-11, 11-4, 11-7, but there was better news for the Japanese as Kenta Matsudaira booked his spot in the last eight after emerging in a thriller against Belarusian Vladimir Samsonov 3-11, 15-13, 12-14, 11-8, 11-9, 3-11, 11-8.

Matsudaira, who beat veteran Chinese star and 2008 Olympic champion Ma Lin in his last World Championships appearance earlier in the week, will face top-ranked Xu Xin in the next round, should the World No.1 beat Marcos Freitas of Portugal when the rest of the last-16 matches resume later on Saturday.

South Korean mixed doubles pair Lee Sangsu and Park Youngsook extinguished China's hopes of completing a fifth consecutive clean sweep at the  event as they ousted Wang Liqin and Rao Jingwen in the semi-finals.

They will later face Kim Hyok Bong and Kim Jong from neighbouring North Korea for the title in a pairing of bitter political rivals. 

Austrian Werner Schlager's gold medal in the men's singles here ten years ago represents the last title won by any country other than China. - CNA/xq/de

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