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China, Chinese Taipei and Great Britain blitz the table tennis

21 January 2007

Great Britain and China have come out on top at the conclusion of the table tennis on Day 5 of the Australian Youth Olympic Festival at Sydney Olympic Park.

The all-Chinese female singles match between Meng Chen and Chen Xi Shi kept the crowd enthralled for thirty minutes, as the girls used solid long strokes and clever serving to outwit and outplay each other. Chen eventually emerged the victor in three sets: 11-8, 11-4, 11-9.

Meanwhile, the tension was high during the male singles match. As the crowd watched with bated breath, Great Britain’s Paul Drinkhall and Chinese Taipei’s Hung Chieh Chiang battled it out for the gold medal.

Both players displayed remarkable skill and talent. Drinkhall made use of superior agility and footwork to run down every ball, whilst Chiang impressed the crowd with a powerful forehand. It was Chiang who eventually took the medal in five sets: 2-11, 11-4, 8-11, 11-6, 11-4.

In the men’s doubles match, Great Britain’s Paul Drinkhall and Darius Knight took on China’s Tianbo Wang and Weijian Zhang. The game featured several breathless moments as a crowd of over 200 watched Great Britain take the gold medal in four sets: 11-8, 4-11, 11-8, 14-12.

The women’s doubles final was between Hong Kong’s Ho Ching Lee and Chor Fung Cheng, and China’s Meng Chen and Chen Xi Shi. The crowd was once again treated to a spectacular match, as both teams utilised their long games and communication. In the end, China proved too strong, taking the gold in five sets: 11-9, 7-11, 9-11, 11-1, 11-9.

The four days of play saw large crowds flock to the sports hall to watch thirty-two players from eight countries battle it out for honours.

Australian player Robert Frank said that the festival had been a great experience. “It was a shame that more countries didn’t attend, but we have enjoyed a fantastic level of play over the last few days,” he said.

“I feel privileged to have been picked to represent Australia. I feel ready for the real Olympics now!”

Bridget Jenkins
AYOF

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