Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Roundup: 15 Chinese table tennis players win semifinal berths at Beijing Paralympics

The table tennis tournament at the Beijing Paralympics finished group stages and quarterfinal matches in Beijing on Tuesday. 15 Chinese competitors secured their semifinal berths in 10 different classes.

Both men and women players in the Paralympic table tennis game are divided into 10 classes depending on their disabilities. The smaller the number is, the more severe their disabilities are. Classes 6 to 10 are for standing competitors while classes 1 to 5 are for players seated on wheelchairs.

In women's competition, 2-time Paralympics class 5 gold medalist Ren Guixiang and the Athens Paralympics team event gold winner Gu Gai defeated their last group opponents with clean 3-0s, and reached the semifinal with unbeaten records.

Zhou Ying, Li Qian and Liu Jing for women's class 4, class 3 and class 1-2, each won a semifinal position for China after Tuesday's competitions.

In men's 9-10 class, Chinese Ma Lin and Ge Yang both went into the semifinals after defeating their quarterfinal opponents Esa Miettinen from Finland and 2-time Paralympic champions Bourdonnaye by 3-0s, respectively.

In the same class, Athens Paralympics silver medalist Swedish Fredrik Andersson upset the then-gold-medalist Fraczyk Stanislaw in the 1/8 final and roared into the semifinal after taking over Spanish Jose Manuel Ruiz in a tight competition.

Chinese Li Manzhou from men's class 8 will compete with his teammate Chen Gang on Wednesday in the semifinals, while Ye Chaoqun will take on Mitchell Seidenfeld from the United States in men's class 7.

Feng Panfeng from class 3 and Zhang Yan from class 4-5 are the only two Chinese survivors in men's sitting competitions. Both edged their opponents, South Korean Kim Young-Gun and Tommy Urhaug from Norway respectively, by 3-2.

German competitor Rainer Schmidt from men's class 6 continued his good luck on Tuesday. He edged British Dave Wetherill with only a tiny advantage.

"I never beat Rosenmeier by 3-0. This is the first time," Schmidt said after the match. "The only chance for me to get into the final round is to beat him 3-0, and I was 7-3 down in the third set. I told myself I have to do it."

After four matches in his group, Schmidt and Wetherill got both the same points as well as set differences. But according to the rule, when set differences were the same, the competitors' positions should be judged by the divided number of their sets against and sets for.

Schmidt won 7 sets and lost 3, while Wetherill won 8 but lost 4. Schmidt thus edged Wetherill in the group and will take on Peter Rosenmeier from Danmark on Wednesday in the semifinals.

Women's individual competitions will see five gold medals on Thursday, including the class 10, while the gold medals for women's class 9, 8 and 6-7 as well as men's games will be decided on Friday.

The team event will begin on Saturday.

Source: Xinhua

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