The Hong Kong girls team returned home from the Asian Schools Table Tennis Championships in Meleka, Malaysia on Saturday, carrying bronze medals. The girls had excelled themselves by reaching the semi-finals last week. Against a superior China team they lost, but recovered to beat hosts Malaysia in the third place play-off. 'It was a great effort and they deserve a lot of credit,' said Stephen Lee Kui-mui of the Hong Kong school Sports Federation. The girls had lost to the hosts in the group stage earlier in the week. They then raised their game to beat Thailand and qualify for the knock-out round against the mainland. 'The girls have really played above themselves,' said team manager Lam Ka-luk. The girls' team was bolstered by the presence of Outstanding Athlete Award winner Au Yuen-mei, the All Hong Kong Schools Jing Ying Singles Champion from Heep Yunn School. The boys were eliminated in the group stage after losing to China and Indonesia.