Hong Kong men’s team crash out to Japan in table tennis quarters

PUBLISHED : Monday, 15 August, 2016, 6:57am
UPDATED : Monday, 15 August, 2016, 1:21pm

Hong Kong’s table tennis Olympic campaign in Rio de Janeiro is over after the men’s team were beaten 3-1 by Japan in the quarter-finals.

Maharu Yoshimura defeated Wong Chun-ting 3-1 in the fourth rubber to complete a 3-1 overall victory for the Japanese, who meet Germany in the semi-finals

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Hong Kong and Japan had split their previous two clashes at the Olympics and this time it was the Japanese who were able to handle the pressure.

The other semi-final will be between China and South Korea.

It was a disappointing end to Hong Kong’s Rio journey, which started with high hopes of at least a semi-final place for the men’s and women’s teams. Table tennis is one of three sports in which Hong Kong have won an Olympic medal, taking silver at the 2004 Athens Games in the men's doubles.

In Rio, the women lost to Germany on Saturday, also in the quarter-finals, and on Sunday it was the men’s turn to miss out on a medal chance.

Tang Peng, beaten in his first match of the men’s singles, said at the time he was saving himself for the team event.

And he made good on his promise, fighting back from two games down to beat Koki Niwa 3-2 (8-11, 10-12, 11-9, 11-7, 11-8).

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Wong also found himself 2-0 down, against Jun Mizutani, and although he managed to get back to 2-2 he wasn’t able to last the pace and fell 3-2 (11-5, 11-9, 3-11, 10-12, 11-8).

Tang and youngster Ho Kwan-kit teamed up for the doubles and lost 3-1 (11-5, 8-11, 11-8, 11-4) to Maharu Yoshimura and Niwa before Yoshimura saw off Wong in the last match 3-1 (11-8, 13-11, 5-11, 11-6) to seal Japan’s win.