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Kong, Liu Win Doubles Gold

ATLANTA (AP) ó Kong Linghui and Liu Guoliang were singles opponents last year. They combined for gold this year.

Kong and Liu won the gold medal Tuesday in menís doubles table tennis, beating defending champions Lu Lin and Wang Tao of China, 21-8, 18-21, 21-19, 21-17.

Chen Jing of Taiwai and Deng Yaping of China qualified for the final in the womenís singles. Chen beat Qiao Hong of China 21-9, 23-21, 21-17. Deng defeated Liu Wei of China, 21-23, 21-17, 21-19, 21-9.

Qiao and Deng won the doubles for the second consecutive Olympics on Monday and Deng is seeking to repeat as singles champion.

Liu Guoliang also returned to beat Johnny Huang of Canada, 9-21, 21-19, 21-16, 21-16 in the menís singles quarterfinals. Huang eliminated the defending gold medalist, Jan-Ove Waldner of Sweden, in the previous round.

Wang, a doubles loser, came from two sets down to qualify for the menís singles semis, defeating Valdimir Samsonov of Belaraus, 16-21, 16-21, 21-16, 21-15, 21-15.

There were two brief light shortages in the fifth set, causing a total delay of about 20 minutes.

Also making it to the semifinals were Germanyís Joerg Rosskopf, who beat Kim Taek-Soo of South Korea 12-21, 26-24, 21-12, 16-21, 26-24, and Czech Petr Korbel, who defeated Jean-Michel Saive of Belgium 21-10, 21-13, 21-19.

In the doubles final, all the players knew each other well, even exchanging high fives before the match. Kong beat Liu for the world singles title last year and teamed with Wang for the doubles championship.

The title match turned quickly in the first set at 11-5, when Wang twisted his right ankle. He had to stop and get the ankle taped, then came back and immediately lost the next five points against him.

Wang said the injury may have had an impact on his play. "Perhaps it affected my speed," he said.

Although Wang and his partner won the second game, the third and fourth games went to the new gold medalists. Kong and Liu went out to a 10-2 lead in the fourth game on their way to the victory.

It was the second consecutive all-China table tennis final. In Mondayís womenís doubles, Deng and Hong teamed up to win the gold medal.

"There is a greater emphasis on doubles than in other countries," Kong said. "Perhaps because China is always interested in a team effort."

In the menís bronze medal match, Lee Chul-seung and Yoo Nam-kyu of South Korea defeated Germanyís Steffen Fetzner and Rosskopf.

Yoo has medaled in the past three Olympics, winning the singles gold in 1988 and bronze in doubles in 1992 and 1996.

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