Table tennis: Yang and Yu make Asian C'ships mixed doubles semis, assured of at least bronze

Singapore's Yang Zi (right) and Yu Mengyu react in the table tennis mixed doubles at the 28th SEA Games competition on Jun 3, 2015.
Singapore's Yang Zi (right) and Yu Mengyu react in the table tennis mixed doubles at the 28th SEA Games competition on Jun 3, 2015. ST PHOTO: DESMOND FOO

SINGAPORE - Singapore's unseeded mixed doubles pair of Yang Zi and Yu Mengyu continued their fine run at the Asian Table Tennis Championships on Wednesday, upsetting sixth seeds Jiang Tianyi and Lee Ho Ching of Hong Kong in the quarter-finals.

The Singaporeans beat Jiang and Lee 3-2 (12-14, 11-7, 11-9, 8-11, 12-10) to advance to the semi-finals on Thursday, where they will take on North Korea's unseeded duo Choe Il and Ri Mi Gyong.

Yang and Yu are guaranteed at least a bronze medal as there are no bronze-medal play-offs at the championships hosted in Pattaya, Thailand.

It was Yang and Yu's second big scalp at the biennial tournament. They had stunned Chinese second seeds Fang Bo and Mu Zi on Tuesday to earn a place in the quarter-finals.

There was more cheer for Yang, as he teamed up with Gao Ning in the men's doubles to beat Uzbekistan's Holikov Elmurod and Kenjaev Zokhid 3-1 (9-11, 11-1, 11-2, 11-4) to progress to the round of 16. They will take on top seeds Fan Zhendong and Xu Xin of China next.

Yang also progressed in the men's singles round of 64, defeating Indonesia's Donald Jachson Paleba 4-1 (6-11, 11-2, 11-7, 11-2, 11-8).

But Yu had to pull out of her women's doubles match when partner Feng Tianwei failed to recover fully from a back strain suffered last Saturday during her match against South Korea in the women's team event.

Despite the injury, Feng later competed in the women's singles, comfortably beating Malaysia's Lee Rou You 4-0 (11-1, 12-10, 11-5, 11-8). An hour later, she came on again to knock out Japan's Saki Tashiro 4-0 (11-8, 11-5, 11-6, 11-6) to advance to the round of 16.

Yu was in equally ruthless form. She whitewashed Sri Lanka's Ishara Madurangi 4-0 (11-4, 11-2, 12-10, 11-2) and Chinese Taipei's Cheng Hsien-tzu 4-0 (11-8, 11-7, 14-12, 11-5) to join Feng in the round of 16.

Feng will next face Cha Hyo Sim of North Korea, while Yu will take on seventh seed Mima Ito of Japan on Thursday for a spot in the quarter-finals.

However, their younger team-mates fell in the round of 64. Yee Herng Hwee lost to Hong Kong's 10th seed Doo Hoi Kem 0-4 (7-11, 7-11, 5-11, 8-11), while Goi Rui Xuan was beaten by sixth seed Chen Meng of China, going down 0-4 (3-11, 7-11, 6-11, 2-11).

Singapore's top male paddler Gao Ning was bundled out of the tournament, falling to 379th-ranked Wang Li Chung-Yi of Chinese Taipei 3-4 (11-6, 7-11, 11-2, 12-10, 8-11, 12-14, 6-11) in the round of 64.

chiazya@sph.com.sg