TABLE TENNIS : Douglas not ready to retire

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Desmond Douglas may consider continuing his international comeback at 39, despite a defeat in the World Championships on a day which saw English interest end in the third round in Tianjin, China, yesterday.

In his first major event for five years Douglas lost 21-12, 21-19, 21- 11 to the world No 9 from Sweden, Peter Karlsson, but claimed he might be interested in playing in another two years' time at the next World Championships, in Manchester.

The best English performance yesterday came from the national champion, Carl Prean, who took the first game and led 12-7 in the second against the world No 7 from China, Ma Wenge, before losing 11-21, 21-18, 21-14, 21-11. In contrast England's Chen Xinhua suffered a disappointing 21-9, 21-17, 21-14 defeat to Vladimir Samsonov, of Belgium, ranked seven places below him at No 23.

A bigger surprise saw Belgium's world No 1, Jean-Michel Saive, lose 21- 17, 21-17, 21-11 to the world No 21 Ding Song - further evidence of the resurgence of China's men.

Results, Sporting Digest, page 39