Commonwealth Games: Yangzi Liu misses out on golden table tennis match

Ian ChadbandAAP
BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND - AUGUST 05: Yangzi Liu of Team Australia plays a shot against Anna Hursey of Team Wales during the Table Tennis Women's Singles Quarter-Final 3 match on day eight of the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games at NEC Arena on August 05, 2022 on the Birmingham, England. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)
Camera IconBIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND - AUGUST 05: Yangzi Liu of Team Australia plays a shot against Anna Hursey of Team Wales during the Table Tennis Women's Singles Quarter-Final 3 match on day eight of the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games at NEC Arena on August 05, 2022 on the Birmingham, England. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images) Credit: Ryan Pierse/Getty Images

After a blistering start, Yangzi Liu has missed out on becoming the first Australian woman to win a Commonwealth Games table tennis singles medal.

Liu, Melbourne’s 20-year-old rising star, was beaten 7-11 9-11 12-10 11-4 11-6 11-9 by Singaporean favourite Jian Zeng in Saturday’s semi-final at the NEC.

Still, though, her hopes of making a slice of sporting history are not all lost as she’ll tackle the bronze medal match against India’s Sreeja Akula on Sunday’s penultimate day of action.

BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND - AUGUST 06: Yangzi Liu of Team Australia serves against Juan Zeng of Team Singapore  during the Table Tennis Women's Singles - Semi-Final 2 on day nine of the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games at NEC Arena on August 06, 2022 on the Birmingham, England. (Photo by Justin Setterfield/Getty Images)
Camera IconBIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND - AUGUST 06: Yangzi Liu of Team Australia serves against Juan Zeng of Team Singapore during the Table Tennis Women's Singles - Semi-Final 2 on day nine of the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games at NEC Arena on August 06, 2022 on the Birmingham, England. (Photo by Justin Setterfield/Getty Images) Credit: Justin Setterfield/Getty Images

Australia has only won one table tennis singles medal at the Games when William Henzell took silver in the men’s singles in Melbourne in 2006.

Yangzi had started brightly against her higher-ranked opponent, taking the first two games only for the tide to turn after a tightly-contested third.

Top seed Tianwei Feng, the world No.16 who’d knocked out Australian veteran Jian Fang Lay in the previous round, ensured there would be an all-Singaporean final against Zeng.

There was further disappointment for the Australian challenge when Melbourne’s bright young men’s doubles partnership of Nicholas Lum and Finn Luu went down 3-2 (8-11 11-9 10-12 11-1 11-8) in their semi-final to India’s Sharath Achanta and Sathiyan Gnanasekaran.

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