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Sun shines as China win fifth consecutive table tennis title

HANGZHOU (XINHUA) – China defeated Japan 3-0 to clinch its fifth consecutive women’s team title in table tennis at the Hangzhou Asian Games yesterday.

China swept aside Thailand 3-0 to advance into the final, while Japan triumphed 3-1 over South Korea in the other semifinal on Monday.

China raced ahead in the final as world number one Sun Yingsha beat Hina Hayata 3-1 (11-6, 12-10, 8-11, 11-9). “My teammates gave me much support when I played on the field, and we become more and more united,” Sun said after the match.

Olympic champion Chen Meng rallied from a 1-2 deficit to edge Miu Hirano in full games (12-10, 8-11, 7-11, 11-8, 11-5) to move China further ahead, and the hosts secured the title following Wang Manyu’s 3-1 (6-11, 11-4, 11-7, 13-11) victory over 15-year-old Miwa Harimoto.

“It was one of the fiercest matches recently against Japan. My team embodies the spirit of unity and struggle. I believe they will be better in the next games,” said head coach of China’s women’s team Ma Lin.

“We all tried our best to play against the powerful team China, but it’s a pity to lose the games, and we’ve got very valuable experience today,” Hayata commented.

Chinese players with their gold medal during the medals presentation ceremony. PHOTO: AFP