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Chinese male paddlers' new boss Qin getting results

Xinhua, April 11, 2017 Adjust font size:

China proved too strong for their semifinal opponents Chinese Taipei at the Asian table tennis championships here on Tuesday as men's team head coach Qin Zhijian is getting more adapted to his new position.

After the 1996 Atlanta Olympic champion Liu Guoliang, coaching the men's team for 14 years, decided not to run for the post again earlier this year, Liu's assistant Qin took over as the new head coach last Thursday.

"I can feel the confidence from Qin, who insisted to send me up on the court, just to see how bad my performance could be when I'm not playing my best table tennis," said Grand Slam winner Zhang Jike after China won the semis 3-0.

For Qin, the experience as assistant coach helped a lot in his move up to the head coach post.

"I am familiar with Ma Long and Xu Xin; it takes longer with Zhang Jike because I am less familiar with him," said Qin, who took care of Ma Long and Xu Xin during his time as an assistant coach for China.

The sport's powerhouses, who nipped a 3-0 win over the team from the Democratic People's Republic of Korea with an Olympic squad in the quarters, were on the fast track Tuesday as world No. 1 Ma Long, No. 2 Fan Zhendong and No. 4 Zhang Jike made sure the semifinal encounter wrapped up in three straight matches in favor of the hosts.

Fan claimed an ideal start for China, beating Chen Chien-An 3-0, before captain and Grand Slam winner Ma Long overcame Liao Cheng-Ting by the same margin.

Zhang, who was forced to pull out of the national trial a month ago due to an ankle injury, was the only Chinese player who met some trouble on Tuesday afternoon, losing the second set after taking the first with great effort, leaving it open for an upset.

The 29-year-old world and Olympic champion, however, avoided any risks and marched to the eventual victory 13-11, 10-12, 11-8, 11-8.

In the other semifinal, Kim Taek Soo guided South Korean players Lee Sangsu, Jang Woojin and Jeong Sangeun to a three-nil victory over Japanese trio Kenta Matsudaira, Koki Niwa and Maharu Yoshimura.

The final of the men's team event is scheduled for 2pm local time on Wednesday. Endit