Table tennis: Battling Prean rises to challenge

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The Independent Online
Carl Prean produced one of the best performances of his career to beat Yoo Nam Kyu, the 1988 Olympic champion from South Korea, to reach the last 32 of the men's singles at the World Championships at Manchester last night. Prean won 17-21, 21-15, 21-18, 21-17, setting up this second- round victory by an incredible third game, which he won from 1-10 down.

Earlier, in the first round, he had beaten Italian Valentino Piacentini 21-11, 21-10, 21-23, 16-21, 21-18 in another remarkable match in which the 29-year-old England No 2 led 17-4 in the third game. Only four points away from a straight-sets defeat, Piacentini went for a series of death- and-glory shots, won the game and took Prean all the way.

Prean is England's only survivor in the men's singles as Alex Perry, Matthew Syed, Darren Blake, Bradley Billington and Alan Cooke all went out in the first round and so, too, did Ireland's Colum Slevin. He will do well to progress, though, as he will next meet China's Wang Liqin, who beat the former world champion, Jorgen Persson of Sweden in the second round.

In the women's singles Andrea Holt lost 21-14, 21-16, 21-10 to South Korea's Park Hae Jung in the second round, Nicola Deaton was beaten in the first round and England's No 1, Lisa Lomas, was forced to scratch because of a family illness.