China dominate as top seeds cruise into last 16

Updated: 2007-05-25 08:50
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China stamped their authority on the world table tennis championship in Zagreb on Thursday as the top seeds in the men's and women's singles eased through to the last 16.
China dominate as top seeds cruise into last 16
Wang Nan of China returns a forehand against Zhang Rui of Hong Kong during their women's singles match at the World table tennis championships in Zagreb May 24, 2007.[Reuters]China dominate as top seeds cruise into last 16
In the men's round of 32, defending world champion and top seed Ma Lin brushed aside He Zhi Wen of Spain 11-8 15-13 11-9 11-8 while in the women's competition world number one Zhang Yining got a bye.

There was also double success for Romania over Japan in the women's tournament after Daniela Dodean beat Ai Fukuhara 12-10 11-9 11-8 11-9 and Elizabeta Samara overcame Sayaka Hirano by four sets to two.

China's Yao Yan set up a clash with her compatriot Guo Yue after coming from behind to beat Lin Ling of Hong Kong 16-14 in a dramatic tie-breaker.

But the day's hero was Singapore's Gao Ning who produced a stunning comeback against Jun Mizutani of Japan in the men's competition after overturning a three-set deficit to win 11-13 5-11 12-14 11-7 11-7 11-8 11-4.

"After the end of the third set I tried to attack faster to his backhand, I just kept fighting because I was never going to give up," said a delighted Gao, who will meet Vladimir Samsonov of Belarus in the last 16.

Samsonov was rarely tested in an 11-2 10-12 11-8 11-5 11-8 win over Austria's Weixing Chen and world number three Timo Boll of Germany, Europe's top-ranked player, also made easy work of his victory against Ju Lin by four sets to one.

Greek Kalinikos Kreanga fought back from two sets down to beat Japan's Yo Kan while world number two Wang Liqin of China dismissed Argentina's Song Liu 11-7 11-5 11-3 11-9.