London 2012: Table Tennis – Drinkhall Exits as Big Guns Enter
Paul Drinkhall’s Olpympic journey in the men’s singles came to an end in his third round encounter against German Dimitrij Ovtcharov as he lost in four games 11-8, 11-5, 11-9, 11-4 in a match which lasted less than half an hour.
After 22-year old Drinkhall’s heroics the previous day in the second round the world number-107 could not provide an even more remarkable surprise this time round against the number-8 seed. Despite a plucky display which saw the Middlesbrough man pull back a 10-4 deficit in the first game to only lose 11-8 and lead 9-8 in the third, the German’s superior class showed as he booked his place in the fourth round later on in the day.
And Ovtcharov went on to proceed to the Quarter-finals later on in the ExCel Arena, defeating Austrian Chen Weixing again with a 4-0 whitewash in thr fourth round. The German will now face Dane Michael Maze in the last 8 after he shocked the third seed Jun Mizutani.
Number-one seed Zhang Jike also proceeded to the quarters after eventually getting through a close round four encounter against Vladmir Samsonov 4-3 in which the favourite for the gold medal had to come from behind. He now faces number-11 seed Jiang Tianyi in the quarters. The Chinese second seed Wang Hao also progressed, winning 4-1 against Gao Ning.
- In the women’s fourth round the two Chinese favourites also progressed to the last 8. Favourite Ning Ding won 4-0 against Daniela Dodean, whilst the number-two seed Li Xiaoxia prevailed 4-2 against American Ariel Hsing to ensure the prospect of an all-Chinese final showdown remains strong.