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Triple treat for Singapore

24 Mar 06 23:51

Gold medallist Xue Ling Zhang of Singapore.

Gold medallist Xue Ling Zhang of Singapore.

Singapore's Xue Ling Zhang is on track to win her third gold medal of the Games after pairing with world number three Jia Wei Li to win the first Semi Final of the Women's Doubles Table Tennis on day 10 of the Games.

Outright gold medal favourites, Zhang and Li breezed through the match, defeating New Zealand's number one pair Karen Jin Li and Annie Yang 11-8 11-5 11-5.

The New Zealand girls held their own in the first game, but could not match the pace and skill of the Singapore pair.

Mixed Doubles

This victory follows Singapore's success on Day 9, when they added two more medals to their tally, after winning gold and silver in the Mixed Doubles tournament.

Singapore has taken a clean sweep of the medals in the Table Tennis Mixed Doubles, with the number one seeded pair of Zi Yang and Xue Ling Zhang triumphing over team mates, Xiao Li Cai and Jia Wei Li to claim the gold. Cai and Li received the silver medal.

Yang and Zhang always looked the stronger pair. They won the first and second games convincingly, 11-7 11-5 with their fast attacking style. Li and Cai attempted to come back, winning the second game with thanks to a few consecutive quick points from Cai. It wasn’t enough, however, to claim the match, and they went down 11-4 in the final game.

“Because we’ve been training in the same team, we know each other all really well. It’s normal for us to win and lose when we play against each other, so I’m really happy to have won this one,” said Zi Yang on winning the gold.

Earlier, Singapore’s Jason Ho and Sharon Tan defeated the Australian pair of Russell Lavale and Miao Miao in the bronze medal match – giving Singapore the medal trifecta.

“It feels very good because it was not expected. We wanted to get into the top eight, and then when we went and got the bronze it was a bonus. A nice surprise really,” said Ho after defeating the Australian pair.

Women’s Singles

Miao also competed in the Women's Singles Quarter Finals, where she took six games to defeat the higher-ranked Sharon Tan of Singapore, a bronze medallist at Manchester 2002.

Miao will face Singapore’s newest gold medallist Xue Ling Zhang, who defeated New Zealand's Karen Jin Li 4-1.

In the other Quarter Finals, Stephanie Sang of Australia was no match for Yan Xu of Singapore, beaten in straight games, 11-6 11-7 11-5 11-8. Xu will face fellow Singaporean Jia Wei Li, who downed Canada's Mo Zhang also in straight games.

Men’s Singles

There was a huge upset in the Men's Singles competition. Australian William Henzell admitted he may have played the best match of his life after defeating top seed Zi Yang of Singapore 11-7 11-6 11-4 11-5 to win a berth in the Semi Finals.

Nigerian Segun Toriola also qualified easily, knocking out Bence Csaba of Canada 4-1, while Sharath Achanta of India defeated Xiao Li Cai of Singapore, 4-2. Achanta will meet Toriola for a place in the gold-medal match.

In one of the matches of the tournament, Adam Robertson of Wales ended England’s Alan Cooke’s singles campaign, with a thrilling win, which will see him line up against Henzell in a Semi Final.

The match came down to the seventh game, Robertson suggesting that the heat was a contributing factor to the length of the match. In the end, the third seed was defeated 12-10 11-13 4-11 11-7 15-13 9-11 7-11.

Men’s Doubles

Cooke will still compete though, in a turn around from the singles, he and partner Paul Drinkhall of England defeated Robertson and Ryan Jenkins of Wales in the Men's Doubles competition. 

In other matches Xiao Li Cai and Zi Yang of Singapore defeated Bence Csaba and Faazil Kassam of Canada 3-0, Monday Merotohun and Segun Toriola of Nigeria beat William Henzell and David Zalcberg of Australia 3-1, and in an upset, England’s Andrew Baggaley and Andrew Rushton defeated India’s Sharath Achanta and Roy Soumyadeep 3-2.

Women’s Singles EAD

It was a battle between neighbours when the Athens Bronze medallist, England’s Catherine Mitton, defeated Sara Head of Wales in a five game epic in the Women's Singles EAD.

Head's team mate Claire Harris was defeated by Faith Obiora of Nigeria 3-0 in her match. Harris will now meet Mitton in the Semi Finals.

In the other Quarter Finals, top-ranked Sue Gilroy of England easily beat Philomena Konwea of Nigeria 3-0 and will play Vivian Ozurumba of Nigeria - who also won in straight games against South Africa’s Rose Riese - in the Semi Finals.

For all the results and fixtures, visit the Table Tennis Schedule and Results section of this Website.

- Games News Service

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