CHINA Gets First 5 of 7 Gold Medals

Saturday, May 5th 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

OSAKA, Japan (AP) _ China has swept the first five of seven gold medals at the World Table Tennis Championships, the latest two on Saturday in the women's singles and men's doubles.

And the Chinese team is poised to win them all. It has high-ranked contenders competing in the remaining two events _ the men's singles and the women's doubles that will culminate the two-week championships on Sunday.

China has been dominant in table tennis in recent years, sweeping gold medals in the world championships in 1995 and in the last two Olympics.

On Saturday in the women's singles final, defending world champion and Olympic gold medalist Wang Nan went four sets to beat her Chinese compatriot Lin Ling 14-21, 21-12, 21-12, 21-19 for her second gold medal in Osaka.

Wang, top-ranked in the world, won her earlier gold in the team event last week as a member of the Chinese women's squad.

``I don't think I played well in the first set today,'' Wang said. ``But in the match after that set, I believe I played like I normally do.''

The men's doubles final was another all-Chinese contest, with Olympic champions Wang Liqin and Yan Sen outscoring defending world champions Kong Linghui and Liu Guoliang 21-11, 21-12, 21-18.

On Sunday, Kong will have a chance to revenge when he meets Wang in the final men's singles. They both won their semifinal matches earlier Saturday.