Youngster Wong holds nerve to earn SAR bronze

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 01 October, 1998, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 01 October, 1998, 12:00am

Wong Ching bounced back from a singles defeat to clinch a bronze medal for Hong Kong's women at the Asian Championships in Osaka yesterday.

The youngster made light of losing 19-21, 18-21 to South Korea's Ryu Ji-hye to secure third place for Hong Kong with a gruelling three-game victory over Kim Moo-kyo in the fourth rubber and seal a 3-1 win at the Chuo Gymnasium.

World champions China captured their third straight women's team title and their eighth overall when they breezed past North Korea 3-1 while their men's team beat South Korea 3-1 to lift the title.

The SAR's women, who lost a thrilling semi-final against North Korea on Thursday night, were in no mood to let bronze slip from their grasp and started well against the South Koreans. Chan Tan-lui put Hong Kong 1-0 up with a battling 21-18, 19-21, 22-20 victory over Kim Moo-kyo in the opening rubber.

But the Koreans came storming back in the second game when Ryu shaded Wong. Song Ah-sim restored Hong Kong's advantage in the third rubber, outclassing Park Hae-jung 21-8, 21-9, leaving Wong needing to defeat Kim for the SAR to claim bronze.

Wong took an early lead, winning the first game 21-14, but Kim levelled by taking the second 21-12. Wong held her nerve in the final rubber to win 22-20.

In the men's event, Hong Kong finished eighth after losing a hard-fought play-off against Indonesia 3-2. Ersan Sutant made sure of victory for the Indonesians, defeating Yung To-long 21-5, 21-17 to settle the match.

It was a repeat performance for the Chinese women in the final over North Korea. They shot down the same opponents without losing a single game in the final of the World Championships last year.

The Chinese missed world singles champion Deng Yaping , but world number number three Wang Nan won twice, although world number two Li Ju fell victim to Kim Hyon-hui.

Wang coasted to a straightforward 21-9, 21-11 victory over Kim Hyang-Mi in the opener, while Kim pulled it even with a 21-19, 21-12 in the second rubber.

Zhang Yining put China 2-1 up with a 20-22, 21-10, 21-18 victory over Tu Jong-sil and Wang put an end to North Korea's excellent run beating Kim 21-14, 21-14 in the fourth rubber to clinch the championship.