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China's Lin, Chen suffer 1st-round exits at Table Tennis Asian Cup


BANGKOK, Nov. 17 (Xinhua) — China’s Lin Gaoyuan and Chen Xingtong were both eliminated in the first round of the 2022 Table Tennis Asian Cup, which kicked off here on Thursday.

Lin was defeated by Iran’s Noshad Alamiyan 11-4, 11-3, 5-11, 12-14, 11-9, 11-6 in the men’s singles action, while his compatriot and women’s singles world No. 7 Chen crashed out after falling 8-11, 11-9, 11-6, 11-6, 9-11, 8-11, 11-9 to the 44th-ranked Indian Manika Batra.

25-year-old Chen, a member of China’s title-winning squad at last month’s world team championships, came back from 3-1 down to force a decider, but failed to manage another rally.

Batra, 27, who plays a unique style with long pimpled rubber, is India’s only representative in the women’s singles event. She will vie for a semifinal berth against Chinese Taipei’s Chen Szu-Yu after the latter beat local favorite Suthasini Sawettabut 4-2 in the first round.

With both defending champions Fan Zhendong and Zhu Yuling missing from the entry lists, world No. 3 Wang Chuqin leads China’s quest for the continental glory. The 22-year-old newly crowned WTT Cup Finals champion was the first to advance after beating Kazakhstan’s Kirill Gerassimenko 4-1.

Other men’s singles quarterfinalists include world No. 32 Wong Chun Ting of Hong Kong, China, who upset Tokyo 2020 semifinalist Lin Yun-Ju of Chinese Taipei 4-2.

On the women’s part, top-seeded Wang Yidi of China, world No. 4 and bronze medalist at last year’s Houston worlds, whitewashed Kazakhstan’s Zauresh Akasheva 4-0 to ease into the last eight. She will next play South Korea’s teenage sensation Shin Yu-bin.

Tokyo 2020 mixed doubles champion Mima Ito and world No. 6 Hina Hayata, both of Japan, Doo Hoi Kem of Hong Kong, China and 30-year-old veteran Jeon Ji-hee of South Korea also reached the women’s singles quarterfinals.

Last held in 2019 before a two-year hiatus due to the pandemic, the Asian Cup features the men’s and women’s singles events, with a maximum of two players from a member association in each category.