Table Tennis: English hopes lifted by Chen

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(First Edition)

THE England No 1, Chen Xinhua, beat the former World Cup winner, Andrzej Grubba, to inspire his adopted country to a victory over Poland that went a long way to assuaging fears of relegation from the top group of the world championships here yesterday, writes James Leigh from Gothenburg.

At the age of 33, Chen, twice a member of Chinese world title-winning sides, retains much of his ability to raise his game for the big events, and he overcame Grubba, the world No10, 14-21, 21-12, 21-17 in the opening contest. The Yorkshire-based player then finished off England's 3-1 win with a 21-17, 21-13 success over Piotr Skierski.

England's women also moved closer to safety. They beat Finland 3-0 and lost 3-1 to Russia in a match they might have won.