Olympic champion Ma crashes out in Paris tournament
Updated: 2013-05-17 10:31
PARIS - Former Olympic champion and four-time World Cup winner Ma Lin became the biggest name to fall at the World Championships as he was upset by Japan's Kenta Matsudaira in the second round on Thursday.
Ma was joined by fellow Chinese Hu Limei to exit on the day's competition. But Hu has nothing to complain because she was eliminated by teammate and defending champion Ding Ning in an all- Chinese affair.
The 33-year-old Ma, gold medalist at the Beijing Olympic Games, was simply overpowered by Matsudaira 5-11, 7-11, 4-11, 14-12, 7-11.
China's Ma Lin plays against Japan's Kenta Matsudaira during the second round of the men's singles World Table Tennis Championships in Paris, on May 16, 2013. [Photo/icpress.cn]
"I had not expected to lose to him. I am in good form. But life goes on, it will affect me a lot," said Ma, a three-time beaten finalist.
The 58th-ranked Japanese also took a sweet revenge on his defeat four years ago at the 1999 Yakohama worlds, when he forced Ma to seven sets but lost 4-3.
Ma, who has won four World Cup titles plus his Olympic gold medal, is playing his ninth and last world championships.
Hu Limei, who entered the draw as a qualifier, lost to Ding 11-2, 11-8, 11-5 and 11-2.
Ding, ranked 1st in the world, lost to Hu twice at the national qualifiers but proved too much for her 18-year-old chopper before reaching the last 16.
"I took advantage of her playing style because normally a chopper is slower to find the rhythm," Ding said.
It was apparently not a day for Hu. Earlier, she was beaten in the mixed doubles with Chen Qi by South Korean tandem Eonrae Cho and Yang Haeun. China's other mixed doubles pair Qiu Yike/Wenjia also fell in the third round, at the hands of Jiang Tianyi and Lee Ho Ching of Hong Kong, China.
But China still showed dominance in the day's competition. They have six players each in the men's and women's singles. Despite the two defeats in the mixed doubles, they still have one team left, former men's singles world No 1 Wang Liqin and Rao Jingwen.