Aussies stun table tennis number two seeds
29 July 2002
Unfancied Australia stun second seeds Canada in the second semi-final of the women’s team table tennis.
Miao Miao helped Australia through to the final
The Aussies have now sealed their place in the final against top seeds and Commonwealth champions Singapore.
The match went down to the fifth set after Australian Miao Miao had won the battle of the No 1s against Lijuan Geng in straight games, fighting back from 3-10 down to win the first l4-l2 and using her high serve to advantage to take the third.
Canada’s No 2 Petra Cada was the clear favourite against the unranked Jian Fang Lay in the deciding set, but Cada was never in the encounter.
Lay controlled from the outset of the third game, building up a 7-3 lead, which Cada cut to a margin of three before Lay widened the gap again to 9-5 and 10-5 before finally stamping on the Maple Leaf by delivering a service that was too fast for Cada to control.
Cada was clearly disappointed by the result: “I should normally have won that match. It was tough. The bad thing is we were all relying on Geng Lijuan to win two games. Their number one Miao Miao is ranked a lot higher than me.
“We got a medal, which is great. We came in seeded second. To reach the finals was our goal.”
In the opening set, the seemingly off-form Cada had fallen 0-3 to Miao and in the second set Canada equalised through Geng, 3-1 against Lay.
Canada took the lead for the first time when Chris Xu destroyed Tammy Gough in the first two games, but had a tougher test in the third before winning l2-10.
Gough commented: “Everyone is really pumped. We’re pretty excited. Coming into the games we didn’t rule out getting into the final. It was a good team effort, we united well and worked hard.
“It’s an amazing feeling just knowing we’ve won a Commonwealth Games medal. It’s definitely one of the highlights of my career.”
Australia will play Singapore for the gold medal on Tuesday 30 July and Canada will go home with a bronze medal.
Info News Service/gjb/eg