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Deng Sweeps Table Tennis

Thursday, August 1, 1996 1:05 pm EDT

ATLANTA (AP) -- China's Deng Yaping is four for four.

Deng had to go the full five games to down a stubborn Chen Jing of Taiwan in the Olympic women's table tennis final, 21-14, 21-17, 20-22, 17-21, 21-5.

She completed her second consecutive sweep of the Olympic women's singles and doubles titles with a victory over Chen, who won the 1988 gold medal for China but now competes for Taiwan.

IOC president Juan Antonio Samaranch was in the stands to watch Deng's match and presented her with her second gold medal of the games. Deng won the doubles title with Qiao Hong earlier in the week.

``Since Barcelona I have been training a lot for this and I paid a hard price for this,'' Deng said.

Deng jumped to a quick two-game lead before Chen got rolling and tied the match.

``I didn't play well in the third game and was thinking about it in the fourth game,'' Deng said. ``At the start of the fifth game I calmed down when I realized that the score was only 0-0.''

The match turned quickly at 2-2 in the fifth game. Deng won nine straight points -- five on Chen errors, four on her own winners -- for an 11-2 lead.

Deng ran off nine of the last 12 points of the match, including the last seven in a row. She punctuating each of her winning points with a pump of her fist.

``We knew that Chen would be a tough opponent and so I especially came into this match prepared,'' Deng said.

Deng, only 23, has been the dominant player in the 1990s.

In addition to her four Olympic victories, she has won two world singles titles and two doubles titles with Qiao stretching back to 1989.

In the bronze medal match, Qiao, who lost to Chen in the semifinals, broke open a close match and took third over another Chinese, Liu Wei, 21-17, 15-21, 21-19, 21-11.

With gold already in women's singles and men's and women's doubles, Chinese players will meet in the gold medal match of men's singles.

Liu Guoliang downed Joerg Rosskopf of Germany 21-17, 18-21, 21-18, 21-18 in one semifinal and Wang Tao defeated Petr Korbel of the Czech Republic 23-21, 21-7, 21-16 in the other.

At the last world championships, Chinese players took all seven titles including team and mixed doubles gold.

© Copyright 1996 The Associated Press

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