Table tennis: Lomas blasted out by China's 'pocket rocket'

OLYMPIC GAMES
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The Independent Online
Lisa Lomas' hopes of challenging for a medal ended when she was beaten in straight games by the Olympic champion, Deng Yaping, yesterday.

The former European silver medallist had lost her best chance of qualifying from her group when she was beaten by Sweden's Marie Svensson the day before, but a useful start against her Chinese opponent raised hopes of a surprise.

Lomas took an early one-point lead, stayed on terms until 8-8 and stayed in touch with Deng, known as the "pocket rocket" because she is less than 5ft tall until the Chinese player produced two unreturnable spin services to take her to 14-11 and then the match rapidly ran away from the British No 1.

Another British hope also lost. Carl Prean, the former English national champion, stood at 15-15 in the final game with Andrei Mazunov, the former European silver medallist from Russia, before losing 21-19 18-21-15. At least Prean is not yet eliminated.

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