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South Korea wins bronze in men's team table tennis

Aug. 18, 2008, 8:31 a.m. (ET)

BEIJING (AP) South Korea beat Austria 3-1 on Monday to take the bronze medal in the men's team table tennis competition at the Olympics.

Defending singles gold medalist Ryu Seung-min of South Korea struggled early, losing 3-1 to Robert Gardos, ranked 47th in the world. But he rebounded in the fourth and decisive match, beating Austria's Chen Weixing 3-0 with a number of powerful rallies.

"The play was very tough and the style is very difficult for me," Ryu said of his match with Gardos, who beat two players in the world top 20 before defeating the 8th-ranked South Korean.

Ryu has had a disappointing showing at the Olympics, going into Monday's contest having won only two of his six singles matches. However, teammate Oh Sang-eun has excelled in Beijing, losing only to Ma Lin of China, ranked second in the world.

It was South Korea's second table tennis bronze in Beijing. The women's squad took third place a day earlier, beating Japan.

Later Monday, top-ranked China was scheduled to play No. 2 Germany in the men's gold medal contest.