By James Crook

liu yiJuly 17 - China's Liu Yi and Che Xiaoxi have taken the men's and women's table tennis singles gold medals at the 2013 Universiade in Kazan, with Chinese Taipei and Japan also taking a share of the seven medals on offer in the sport.

Liu cruised past top seed and 2010 Youth Olympic Games champion Koki Niwa of Japan in the semi-finals before defeating teammate Shang Kun 11-8, 5-11, 11-7, 11-8, 12-10 in the final to clinch the gold medal.

Rising star Che was also impressive in the Tatarstan capital, going undefeated throughout the campaign to follow up her International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) World Tour Japan Open girls' under 21 victory from last month with a Universiade gold medal.

The 20-year-old prevailed in another all-Chinese final against Zheng Shichang, winning 11-6, 8-11, 11-9, 11-7, 11-9.

But there was not the same dominance for China in the other events, as Chinese Taipei took gold in the men's and women's doubles.

Former junior world champions Chiang Hung-Chieh and Huang Sheng-Sheng came through against home favourites Viacheslav Burov and Mikhail Paykov in the men's doubles final, winning 12-14, 11-4, 11-2, 11-5, 11-9 to win gold.

Things were not quite so straight-forward for their compatriots Lee I-Chen and Lin Chia-Hui, who were forced to a seven-game epic against Chinese pair Che and Jiang Yue, eventually prevailing 11-9, 15-13, 7-11, 7-11, 11-9, 5-11, 11-9 in the final to ensure double doubles success for Chinese Taipei.

picture11111 1Japan won two gold medals in the table tennis - the mixed doubles and women's
team event - at Kazan 2013

And there were also two gold medals for Japan as Hiromitsu Kasahara and Rika Suzuki managed a shock mixed doubles victory in the all-Japanese final against Koki Niwa and Misato Niwa, coming from two sets down to win 10-12, 10-12, 13-11, 3-11, 11-5, 11-1, 11-5.

The nation's second gold came in the women's team event, where Yuka Ishigaki, Suzuki and Riyo Nemoto denied Chinese Taipei their third gold medal, winning 3-0 in the final.

But it was China who came out on top overall in the medal standings for table tennis when they secured their third gold medal in the men's team event, where Shang, Liu and Fang Bo saw off Japan 3-0 to top the podium.

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