TABLE TENNIS

Hong Kong's Lee Ho-ching takes game off Wu Yang

The Hong Kong player thought she would lose in under 20 minutes but took a game off her rival

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 13 April, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 13 April, 2013, 5:04am

Hong Kong's Lee Ho-ching was made to eat her own words against Wu Yang of China in the opening match of the GAC GROUP Asian Cup, but the promising player still failed to avoid defeat.

The homegrown talent said before her match against the world No 11 mainlander, possibly the best defensive player in the world, that she'd be lucky to last 20 minutes.

She put up far more of a fight - lasting 40 minutes - but still lost the match 4-1 (11-9, 6-11, 11-5, 11-4, 11-4) at the Queen Elizabeth Stadium in Wan Chai.

"It wasn't too bad," said the 20-year-old, a last minute replacement for sick teammate Tie Yana. "I have never taken a game against Wu, and I did today.

"My performance against defensive players has never been convincing, especially against Wu, who slices the ball with powerful spin, making it much more difficult."

My performance against defensive players has never been convincing, especially against Wu, who slices the ball with powerful spin, making it much more difficult

It didn't get any easier for the youngster, who lost her two other group matches to South Korea's Seok Ha-jung (4-0) and Kasumi Ishikawa, of Japan, (4-2) to exit the US$100,000 tournament.

"I tried to prove myself in front of the home crowds, but in the end, it made me feel nervous and I failed to deliver," said Lee, who enjoyed marvellous runs in her two previous tournaments, helping Hong Kong to reach the semi-finals at the World Team Classic in Guangzhou last month and reaching the women's singles semi-finals after a series of upsets in the Korea Open last week.

Teammate Jiang Huajun saved some pride for the hosts, making it to the quarter-finals with two wins and one loss, along with her men's counterpart Jiang Tianyi, the world No 14 who won all three games in his group.

The quarter-finalist at the London Olympics first overcame Jung Young-sik, of South Korea, in a gruelling 4-3 opening match before comfortable 4-1 wins over Chen Chien-An, of Taiwan, and Yang Zi, of Singapore.

His teammate Tang Peng beat Seo Hyun-deok, of South Korea, 4-1 to finish third in his group. He will need to beat Kamal Sharath Achanta of India from the challenge group today to contest a place in the quarter-finals.