SPORT

Qui Yike shocks Timo Boll

Qui Yike of China serves during his match against Germany's Timo Boll in the men's singles of the World table tennis championship in Paris on Wednesday.

Qui Yike of China serves during his match against Germany's Timo Boll in the men's singles of the World table tennis championship in Paris on Wednesday.  

Paris May 22. German top seed Timo Boll suffered a shock second round defeat to a little known Chinese teenager at the table tennis World championships here on Wednesday.

The 22-year-old tournament favourite was beaten 3-11, 7-11, 11-7, 14-12, 11-9, 12-10 by 18-year-old Qui Yike, the 40th seed.

Boll, from Erbach near Frankfurt, was gracious in defeat, saying: ``It was fun to play him, but not fun to lose.''

Qui, who comes from the western Chinese province of Sichuan, came off court to be immediately enveloped in a media scrum.

``I'd never played Boll before, and was a little surprised. But I saw he was a bit nervous when I got back to 2-2 so I went for it.''

Boll's premature demise once again underlines the strength in depth of the Chinese, who for the past two World championships have walked off with all the gold medals.

The sport's superpower has a history of supposedly lowly players doing well at the World championships including unseeded Yan Sen reaching the men's singles semifinals in Manchester in 1997.

Boll, reflecting on what went wrong, added: ``I dominated the first two sets but then let him back in.''

A warning that this might not be Boll's day had come earlier on Wednesday when he survived a first round scare against a Chinese export to the Dominican Republic.

He was up against Jin Ju, ranked a lowly 889, but the German ace was made to sweat for his 4-2 win as Ju's canny defensive play at times proved too much for the player blessed with one of the fiercest attacks in the game.

Tension had grown perceptibly in the vast Bercy arena as news that Boll was in trouble spread but the unassuming star wasn't about to kiss goodbye to the chance of winning his first title as prematurely as all that.

The spectator sporting the banner ``Timo go for gold'' along with Boll's many other fans looked to be finding it difficult to come to terms with their hero's demise.

The result left Belarus' Vladamir Samsonov as Europe's main hope of winning men's singles gold, but the way the Chinese are playing no one was betting on it here.

Indian challenge ends

The Indian challenge came to a tame end when all four paddlers, who made it to the main draw, bowed out to higher ranked opponents in the first round.

India's top player Chetan Baboor had no answer to the attacking game of Japan's Toshio Tasaki, ranked 41st in the world, and was thrashed in straight games 6-11, 9-11, 6-11, 8-11.

Young Achanta Sharath Kamal made a promising start against 57th ranked Christophe Legout of France as he won the opening game 11-2. But the Frenchman overcame the early hiccups to take the next four games 11-6, 11-6, 15-13, 11-6 to advance to the second round.

In the women's section, Mouma Das went down fighting against Hungary's Georgina Pota 10-12, 11-9, 9-11, 12-14, 8-11, while Yao Lin Jing of Malaysia defeated veteran Mantu Ghosh 12-10, 11-6, 11-3, 11-5.

In the women's doubles, Mauma Das and Mantu Ghosh went all out for a win as they stretched the Singapore pair of Xueling Zhang and Paey Fern Tan till the decider, but eventually lost 11-8, 7-11, 5-11, 2-11, 11-8, 7-11.

The results:

Men's singles (first round): Oh Sang-eun (S. Korea) bt Gregor Komac (Slo) 11-5, 11-8, 11-9, 11-8; Kong Linghui (Chi) bt Sebastien Jover (Fra) 11-6, 11-5, 11-6, 11-4; Werner Schlager (Aut) bt Segun Toriola (Nig) 4-11, 11-9, 11-5, 11-6, 11-9; Timo Boll (Ger) bt Jin Ju (Dom) 11-7, 11-13, 11-3, 9-11, 11-5, 11-9; Liu Guozheng (Chi) bt Roko Tosic (Cro) 10-12, 11-5, 12-10, 18-16, 11-7; Chiang Peng-lung (Tai) bt Panagiotis Gionis (Gre) 11-6, 11-5, 11-3, 11-8; Wang Liqin (Chi) bt Arai Shu (Jap) 11-4, 7-11, 11-3, 11-9, 11-5; Vladimir Samsonov (Belarus) bt Constantin Cioti (Rom) 11-9, 11-9, 11-3, 13-11; Kalinikos Kreanga (Gre) bt Lashin El-Sayed (Egy) 9-11, 11-7, 11-6, 11-7, 7-11, 11-9; Zoran Primorac (Cro) bt Hugo Hoyama (Bra) 11-8, 11-5, 11-5, 11-8; Wang Hao (Chi) bt Dorian Quentel (Fra) 11-6, 11-4, 11-3, 11-2; Chuan Chih-Yuan (Tai) bt Marek Klasek (Czech) 9-11, 11-9, 11-6, 11-7, 11-7; Alexei Smirnov (Rus) bt Adam Lindner (Hun) 11-13, 11-3, 11-9, 4-11, 11-5, 5-11, 13-11; Ryu Seung Min (S. Korea) bt Lubomir Pistej (Slo) 12-10, 11-2, 11-3, 12-10; Ma Lin (Chi) bt Carlos Machado (Spa) 11-5, 11-6, 11-6, 11-4.

Women's singles (first round): Zhang Yining (Chi) bt Silvia Morel (Chile) 11-5, 11-2, 11-1, 11-3; Li Jia Wei (Sing) bt Anna Pogossian (Arm) 11-9, 11-9, 11-2, 11-8, 11-3; Tie Yana (HK) bt Sofija Tepes (Chile) 11-4, 13-11, 11-6, 11-5; Li Ju (Chi) bt Marie Olsson (Swe) 13-11, 11-4, 14-12, 11-8; Niu Jianfeng (Chi) bt Sandra Paovic (Cro) 11-4, 11-6, 9-11, 11-6, 11-6; Guo Yan (Chi) bt Susanne Jonsson (Swe) 11-6, 12-10, 11-6, 11-8;

Mihaela Steff (Rom) bt Wu Xue (Dom) 8-11, 11-9, 10-12, 12-10, 12-14, 11-8, 15-13; Li Nan (Chi) bt Pia Finnemann (Den) 12-10, 11-7, 11-1, 11-6;

Guo Yue (Chi) bt Martina Safran (Slo) 11-8, 11-9, 11-7, 8-11, 12-10; Wang Nan (Chi) bt Vania Carvalho (Por) 9-11, 11-8, 11-4, 11-5, 11-5.

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