OLYMPICS/Taiwan's Lin Yun-ju advances to semifinals in Olympic table tennis

07/28/2021 05:53 PM
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Table tennis player Lin Yun-ju. CNA photo July 28, 2021
Table tennis player Lin Yun-ju. CNA photo July 28, 2021

Taipei, July 28 (CNA) Taiwanese table tennis player Lin Yun-ju (林昀儒) won in surprisingly commanding fashion to clinch a spot in the men's singles semifinals at the Tokyo Olympics on Wednesday, matching Taiwan's best performance ever in the event.

Lin, seeded fifth, defeated 18th seed Darko Jorgić of Slovenia 11-4, 11-7, 11-4, 11-6 in a short 25-minute match he dominated throughout, never trailing by more than two points in any of the four games.

Jorgić had been expected to provide more resistance, having toppled the tournament's third seed, Tomokazu Harimoto of Japan, on Tuesday, but the Slovenian struggled to match Lin's intensity and consistency.

The victory puts the 19-year-old first-time Olympian in contention for his second medal in Tokyo, after he and partner Cheng I-ching (鄭怡靜) took home bronze in the mixed doubles event on Monday.

Lin Yun-ju (right) has a fist bump with Darko Jorgić of Slovenia after the match. CNA photo July 28, 2021
Lin Yun-ju (right) has a fist bump with Darko Jorgić of Slovenia after the match. CNA photo July 28, 2021

To earn a spot in the final, however, he will have to beat world No. 1 Fan Zhendong (樊振東) of China -- who scored a 4-0 victory against a 10th-seeded South Korean opponent on Wednesday -- in a match scheduled for Thursday.

In reaching the semifinals, Lin has tied Chuang Chih-yuan's (莊智淵) fourth-place finish at the 2012 London games for the best performance by a Taiwanese player in the men's singles competition.

As of Wednesday, Taiwan had bagged a record six medals in Tokyo -- one gold, two silvers and three bronzes -- topping its previous best of five medals in the 2000 and 2004 games.

(By Matthew Mazzetta)

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