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Koreans sweep table tennis tourney

Update: July, 19/2009 - 00:00

Koreans sweep table tennis tourney

(20-07-2009)

HCM CITY — Cho Eon-rae of South Korea edged Japanese East Kobe team’s Chan Kazuhiko 4-3 (6-11,16-14, 11-9, 11-9, 6-11, 4-11, 11-9) yesterday in the men’s singles at the Golden Paddle Open international table tennis tournament at HCM City’s Phan Dinh Phung Gymnasium.

Cho overcame Chan, who had just taken second place in the Japanese table tennis championship, in an exciting final to win the gold medal and help the Korean team sweep the tournament.

In an earlier match, Lee Eun-hee, ranked 41st in the world, defeated Ichikawa Azusa of Japan in the women’s singles final for the gold.

South Korea also bagged golds in the men’s doubles, women’s doubles, mixed doubles, and men’s and women’s team events.

"The achievement is remarkable as there are some very strong players in the tournament, especially Japanese players," said Choi Jai Seon, head coach of the Korean team.

"Vietnamese players Nguyen Nam Hai and Doan Kien Quoc are very good and experienced, but Quoc is a little bit old."

Vietnamese players including Nguyen Nam Hai, Tran Tuan Quynh and Doan Kien Quoc won bronzes in the men’s team and men’s doubles event. Hai and Mai Hoang My Trang also won a bronze in the mixed doubles event.

"Vietnamese players are still in form, but this year the Korean and Japanese teams sent many very strong players to the tournament," said Nguyen Duc Long, head coach of the Viet Nam team.

The tournament drew 93 players, including 41 women, from China, Japan, Malaysia, South Korea, Singapore, Thailand and Viet Nam, competing in the men’s and women’s singles, doubles and mixed doubles. — VNS

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