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CGames: Singapore win women's team table tennis gold

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

Singapore beat Malaysia 3-0 in the women's table tennis final to secure a fourth straight gold in the event at the Commonwealth Games on Sunday.

The strong favourites suffered a mild surprise when they lost their first match since their win in the inaugural tournament in 2002 in their semi-final win over India.

But they were far slicker against the sixth seed Malaysians, who

shocked second seeds Australia in the semi-finals, and did not lose a match on their way to gold.

Australia beat India 3-1 in the bronze medal match.

In the final, world number 10 Yu Mengyu, beaten by India's Manika Batra on Saturday lost her first game against Sock Khim Ng 11-7.

But she fought through to win her rubber by taking the next three games 11-5, 11-9, 11-9.

Singapore's top player Feng Tianwei produced a controlled performance with an 11-8, 11-5, 11-4 over Lee Wei Beh.

Lin Ye and Yu then edged a tight match against Ying Ho and Lee Wei in the doubles with an 11-9, 11-13, 11-9, 11-5 to continue their domination of the event.

They will now look to continue their run of success in the singles and doubles events and are strong favourites for a clean sweep of the gold medals.

Singapore women's coach Jing Junhong said: "I'm proud. The players performed well and to win gold is good for our young players.

"The result was 3-0 so that was good for me but it was difficult. The first match was really important for us.

"We always hope to win the gold but it's not easy. The semi-finals we lost a match but winning the gold is more important for us. We have a young team. Compared to the last Commonwealth Games we've changed three key players and we've got three young players coming together and it's a gold medal at a major Games so the future is good for us."

After the shock of losing the semi-final to Malaysia, Australia coach Jens Lang admitted it was a major relief to win a medal.

India's Manika Batra beat Lay Jian Fang to make it 1-1 against

Australia in the bronze medal match.

But Lang's team won the doubles and Zhang Ziyu beat Madhurika Suhas Patkar to seal bronze after two hours and 43 minutes.

Lang said: "It's a massive relief. We're so happy now. It was such a thrilling game. Every match could have gone either way.

"You prepare for such a long time, set your focus on nothing but this and whether it works out depends on such tiny little details.

"We did everything right, we had the perfect line-up. We've proved we're still a powerhouse in the Commonwealth Games in table tennis.

"People say the players are too old and past their prime but we still have fighting spirit and experience and we showed that."

The semi-finals of the men's team event, with Singapore facing Nigeria and India meeting England, take place later on Sunday.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/140727/cgames-singapore-win-womens-team-table-tennis-gold-0