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Olympics-Table Tennis-China men’s team to face South Korea in semis

TOKYO, Aug 2 (Reuters) – Table tennis powerhouse China will face South Korea in the semi-finals of the Olympic men’s team event after beating France in the quarter-finals on Monday.

China’s Ma Long and Xu Xin overcame French pair Alexandre Cassin and Emmanuel Lebesson 3-0 in the first doubles match.

World number 19 Simon Gauzy faced Fan Zhendong in the singles and pushed the world number one all the way before Fan prevailed 3-2.

“It’s been a long time since I last had a match with Simon, and I’d forgotten what it feels like to play against him… that’s why it’s a taboo to judge your opponent just by past experience,” Fan told reporters.

Xu outclassed Lebesson 3-0 in the last singles match.

Facing the Chinese team on Wednesday will be South Korean trio Lee Sangsu, Jeoung Youngsik and Jang Woojin, who won 3-0 against Brazil’s Vitor Ishiy, Gustavo Tsuboi and Hugo Calderano in the earlier quarter-final.

For Jang, the clash with Calderano was a repeat of their match in the singles event last week which the Brazilian won.

“I lost against Hugo in the singles match, so I was impatient, but I also wanted to challenge him,” Jang said after beating the Brazilian 3-0 on Monday.

“I tried not to be scared because I lost, but I kept my composure and I felt good.”

Japan’s Jun Mizutani, Koki Niwa and Tomokazu Harimoto beat Australia’s Hu Heming, Yan Xin and David Powell 3-0 to set up a quarter-final against Sweden on Tuesday.

Mizutani crushed Yan 3-0, taking a 10-point lead at the end of the second game.

“I want to play every single match as if it’s my last one, with no regrets,” Mizutani told reporters.

In the women’s team event, South Koreans Choi Hyojoo and Shin Yubin edged out Poland’s Natalia Partyka and Natalia Bajor 3-2 in the doubles.

Jeon Jihee beat her Polish opponent Li Qian 3-0 in the singles with South Korean teenager Shin continuing the momentum to win against Bajor.

The Singapore women’s team will face China in the quarter-finals on Tuesday while Japan meet Hong Kong in the semis.

(This story corrects in paragraph 14 to say Shin won against Bajor, not lost)

Reporting by Eimi Yamamitsu, Editing by Shri Navaratnam and Ed Osmond

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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