USA Table Tennis News South Korea, Austria...

South Korea, Austria to play for table tennis bronze

Aug. 17, 2008, 1:51 a.m. (ET)

BEIJING (AP) South Korea rallied past Hong Kong and Austria defeated a young Japanese team Sunday to advance to the Olympic bronze-medal match in men's team table tennis.

The South Koreans were coming off a crushing loss to China the night before. But they pulled out a 3-1 victory despite falling behind in the first part of the last two matches.

Defending gold medalist Ryu Seung-min continued to struggle, losing 3-2 to Li Ching. Ryu, however, came back in the doubles match with Yoon Jae-young to help South Korea take an overall 2-1 lead with a 3-2 win over Li and Ko Lai Chak.

Japan's Yo Kan won the first match over 2003 singles world champion Werner Schlager, but Austria responded with wins in the next three matches. The Japanese team, which includes 19-year-old Jun Mizutani and 21-year-old Seiya Kishikawa, could not keep up with the more experienced Austrians.

"I think that after losing yesterday (to Germany), the damage was done," Japan coach Yoshihito Miyazaki said. "Our players are still young and relatively inexperienced, so they could not readjust quickly."