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You are in: Sports > Table Tennis > News

Nail-biting thriller sets up table tennis semis

29†July†2002

Gold medal favourites England guaranteed themselves at least a bronze medal and put themselves in contention for gold or silver in the menís table tennis team event by beating Australia in a thrilling five-set match.

Table tennis

In an epic match that took nearly three hours in sweltering heat, Commonwealth champion Matthew Syed (ENG) began with a commanding start against William Henzell (AUS).

He then took the second set as well, but the match quickly turned into a nail-biting contest after Syed lost the third and fourth sets. But he bounced back to grind out a win in the fifth set against the talented but tiring Russell Lavale (AUS).

Lavale put an athletic Syed under pressure, mixing up his shots, before finally succumbing to his opponentís mental strength. Following the match, Lavale received treatment for exhaustion.

England will now face India who secured their place in the semi-final by defeating Canada in a gruelling five set contest. Chetan Baboor (IND) was defeated in his opening set by Canadaís No 1, Huang, but came out in the fifth set to defeat Bence Csaba (CAN).

Nigeria also progressed to the semi-finals after a convincing straight-sets performance over Wales. They now face number two seeds Singapore in the semi-finals. Singapore defeated New Zealand 3-0.

In the second of the womenís quarter-finals, Canada beat Wales and Australia upset India. The two victors will meet each other in the semi-finals Monday 29 July.

Info News Service/tp/eg/bn

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