Commonwealth Games: Singapore's table tennis mixed doubles pairs off to good start

GLASGOW (AFP) - Singapore's three top seeds in the mixed doubles in the table tennis all had winning starts to the competition at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow on Wednesday.

After the women and men won gold in the team events, they began their pursuit of more medals with a perfect start.

In the second round top seeds Feng Tianwei and Zhan Jian took just 12 minutes to beat Ghanaian pair Mareen Adom Amankwaa and Bernard Sam 3-0.

They now face Malaysian duo Lee Wei Beh and Muhd Shakrin Ibrahim in the third round, while top seed Feng also starts her singles campaign later on Wednesday.

Second seeds Gao Ning, who won silver with Feng four years ago, and Lin Ye also had a comfortable start with a 3-0 (11-6, 11-9, 11-3) victory, which took 14 minutes, against Vanuatu's Yoshua Shing and Anolyn Lulu.

Shing was just delighted to have given Gao some difficult moments.

He said: "We were lucky. At least we got nine points in one set. We are just happy to play with one of the top players.

"I've known Gao for a long time and he is one of the best players I've ever seen. I'm 2,000 in the world, and he is in the top 12. I'm just happy he missed some of my balls. I think he was a bit nervous and a bit stressed."

Gao and Lin now face Naomi Owen and Stephen Jenkins of Wales in the third round.

Third seeds Yu Mengyu and Li Hu also had a straightforward victory, beating Kevin Farley and Krystle Harvey of Barbados 3-0.

Bronze medallists four years ago, English husband and wife Paul and Joanna Drinkhall did not have it all their own way in a 3-1 win over Seychelles duo Godfrey Sultan and Anniesa Benstrong.

Paul Drinkhall, who won silver in the men's team event, was frustrated to have dropped the third game and said: "It was a good start. A win is a win. It's tough playing players who aren't as good, because they have a different style."

"Either way we should have won, we just made mistakes."

Joanna feels that being married to Paul gives the pair an advantage and said: "It's fun. We know each other so well. We know what each other are thinking more than other teams."

The Drinkhalls now come up against Australian's Yan Xin and Zhang Ziyu in the third round.

The women's singles, with the top 16 seeds playing for the first time, men's doubles and mixed doubles all continue on Wednesday.

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