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VN tame South Korea to reach semis

Update: July, 16/2009 - 00:00

VN tame South Korea to reach semis


HCM CITY — A Vietnamese team crushed a South Korean team 3-0 to reach the semi-finals in the men’s team event of the 23rd Golden Paddle Open international table tennis tournament in HCM City’s Phan Dinh Phung Gymnasium.

The team of senior players, Nguyen Nam Hai, Dinh Quang Linh and Doan Kien Quoc won all their matches against the Korean team of Lee Min-kyu, Mun Yeong-sang and Choi Je-kwon by 3-0 in the tie-or-die match, which qualified the winners for the semi-final.

The only match the Vietnamese players lost was against the East Kobe team of Japan in the group stage. Now the players will face off against another Korean team, which has 77th ranked Cho Eon-rae, in the semi-final at 7pm today.

Twenty-two-year-old Dinh Quang Linh gave a brilliant performance to clinch his first win in the tournament by beating Lee 3-1 (12-10, 9-11, 11-7, 11-7) in the first match to put Viet Nam in the lead 1-0.

Veteran player Doan Kien Quoc had to struggle to come back in the second match against Mun. He made short work of the first set with a 11-7 win, but he lost two successive sets with the same score of 11-6.

The two-time Olympian redeemed himself and came back to win the deciding set to seal the 3-2 win and put the Vietnamese team in the lead 2-0.

In the third match, Hai was lost to Choi in the first set with the score of 4-11, but strongly bounced back to win the second and third set to lead 2-1.

In the fourth set, Hai led all the way until 10-all score, and then the two players fought for every point. When the score was 18-all, Hai grabbed two points to win the set.

On their way to semi-finals, Vietnamese players also defeated a HCM City team 3-0 a Malaysian team 3-1 and a Japanese team 3-0. — VNS

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