Leung must overcome Korean to clinch Olympic spot
Hong Kong's Leung Chu-yan needs just one more win to secure his London Games berth when he faces former Olympic champion Ryu Seung-min of South Korea in today's Asian zone qualification tournament at Queen Elizabeth Stadium.
Both players reached the semi-finals of the tournament and the winner will be granted one of the eight Olympic berths up for grabs in Hong Kong.
Leung admitted the Korean, who was the 2004 Athens singles champion, would be a big obstacle to overcome. 'I've beaten him once in a team event, but never in a singles competition,' said the Hong Kong player. 'Ryu is a quality player and I need to be at my best if I want to beat him.'
Hong Kong coach Chan Kong-wah said his charge would definitely be the underdog against Ryu, but even if Leung lost today, he would still have a chance to sneak through the losers' pool and win a berth.
Leung was fully stretched yesterday when he overcame Kim Song-nam of North Korea after seven games in the round of 16. The home player had to come back from 3-1 down before taking three games in a row to make it.
He had a much easier match in the next round, routing Soumyajit Ghosh of India in straight games 4-0 before setting up today's clash against Ryu.
In the women's event, Hong Kong's Lee Ho-ching lost her match against Chen Szu-yu of Taiwan in the quarter-finals and will start in the losers' pool today.
World No1 Ma Long of China, meanwhile, also reached the men's semi-finals today, along with compatriot Guo Yue in the women's.