Staff Writer, with Reuters, TOKYO
The Taiwanese men’s table tennis team defeated Croatia 3-0 yesterday to secure a spot in the quarter-finals.
Olympic veteran Chuang Chih-yuan and Chen Chien-an led the team off to a good start in the first doubles match, beating Croatians Frane Tomislav Kojic and Andrej Gacina 3-2.
Lin Yun-ju, Taiwan’s Olympic bronze medalist in the mixed doubles, carried on the momentum from a strong start in a 3-0 win over Tomislav Pucar, with Chuang tied in his one-on-one match against Gacina.
Elsewhere, the Serbian men’s team was knocked out by Brazilian rowers Vitor Ishiy, Gustavo Tsuboi and Hugo Calderano in a heated 3-2 defeat.
In the women’s tournament, Chinese women’s table tennis trio Chen Meng, Sun Yingsha and Wang Manyu defeated Austrians Liu Jia, Liu Yuan and Sofia Polcanova 3-0 to advance to the quarterfinals.
Women’s singles silver medalist Sun joined forces with Wang to crush Liu Jia and Liu Yuan in doubles, with the Austrians failing to win a single set.
I was very excited. It was emotional. Overall, I think we were pretty good today, Wang said.
Chen, the world No. 1 and the new Olympic singles champion, then took on Austrian paddler Polcanova in a 3-0 victory, followed by another individual match in which Wang defeated her opponent, Liu Yuan, in a 3-0 victory. score knocked out.
The Chinese team initially included 2016 Olympic team champion Liu Shiwen, one of the duo who lost to Japan in the mixed doubles final earlier this week.
However, she withdrew yesterday and was replaced by the world’s number 4 Wang, who is competing in her first Olympics as a reserve player.
Liu Shiwen suffered a mixed doubles injury, Chinese coach Li Sun said, while the International Table Tennis Federation said it was a recurring elbow injury.
China has been undefeated in the team events since its introduction in 2008.
Singles champion Chen said she shifted her focus to the latest event in the sport immediately after the singles was over.
There were some ups and downs in the atmosphere, with the gold medal win in singles and a loss in mixed doubles. I think another gold medal for the team event is important. It would be the highest honor, very important, Li said.
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