USA Table Tennis

Aug 15 US stays in the running for table tennis bronze

Aug. 15, 2008, 3:25 a.m. (ET)

BEIJING (AP) The U.S. women's table tennis squad defeated a young Romanian team 3-1 on Friday to stay in the running for a team bronze medal.

"I think in the last match today we played really well, we withstood the pressure because we had to win this one," said Wang Chen.

The Americans will go on to play the loser of the South Korea-Singapore semifinal match.

Wang, 34, and teammate Gao Jun, 39, are both retired members of the Chinese national squad who resurrected their careers after immigrating to the United States. Chinese-born Crystal Xi Huang, 29, rounds out the team.

Wang said the heavy experience of the American squad wasn't a factor in the victory over the Romanians, whose oldest player, Iulia Necula, is only 22.

"Gao Jun and I are overall better players than them," she said. "(But) I think the young Romanians are very energetic, they keep beating top-ranked players, especially (Elizabeta) Samara, she played really well. I didn't control her well and lost that first match."

In the other women's contest, Japan defeated Austria 3-0 and will play the loser of the China-Hong Kong semifinal.

In the first-round bronze medal competition on the men's side, Hong Kong eliminated Taiwan and will go on to play the loser of the China-South Korea semifinal. Austria defeated Croatia and will play the loser of Japan-Germany.

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