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American qualifies for table tennis quarterfinals

American qualifies for table tennis quarterfinals

Wang Chen of the United States defeated Kim Kyung-ah of South Korea on Thursday to become the first American in Olympic table tennis history to reach the quarterfinals.
All three Chinese players also advanced and kept alive the possibility of a medal sweep for the host team.
After her 4-3 win over Kim, the world's top defensive player, Wang collapsed to her knees next to the table and cried into her towel.
"I thought it was possible to beat her as long as I was full of confidence, because she's a defensive player," Wang said about her victory. She won 11-9, 9-11, 11-8, 10-12, 6-11, 11-9, 11-5.
Wang, who's ranked No. 23 in the world and runs a popular pingpong club in New York City, will face sixth-ranked Li Jia Wei of Singapore on Thursday night.
The Chinese players were also victorious in their round of 16 matches, although fatigue was setting in on the ninth day of the Olympic competition.
"Physically (playing singles) is not as easy as (playing teams), where it's just one match a day. But you don't have a choice. You just have to adjust fast," said China's Wang Nan, a four-time Olympic gold medalist.
She won 11-7, 11-7, 9-11, 11-6, 11-13, 11-5 but said the challenge in the matchup came from her opponent's defensive playing style which features backspin chops.
"We often play Korean athletes in major competitions so we are aware of their strengths in chops. I was prepared for a difficult match, perhaps even to the seventh game," Wang said.
Teammate Guo Yue defeated Li Jiao of the Netherlands 4-0. Top-ranked Zhang Yining eliminated No. 12 Ai Fukuhara of Japan with a 4-1 victory.
"I wanted to hurry up and win so I could go back and get some rest," Zhang said of her 11-5, 11-2, 11-5, 9-11, 11-8 win.
"So I wasn't taking control of some opportunities and I was playing a bit rushed."


Updated : 2021-05-13 01:30 GMT+08:00