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North end Chinese rule in table tennis

Busan, Oct. 4 (Reuters): China all but locked up the Asian Games swimming medal race with Xu Yanmei winning the womenís 50 metres freestyle on Friday for her fourth gold, while Chinese shooters broke their third world record in two days.

China increased their lead over Japan to 16-11 in the swimming gold medal standings with five events remaining as they head into the final day at the Sajik Pool.

The 18-year-old Chinese champion Xu, who won the 100 metres freestyle title on Wednesday, goes for a fifth gold in the 4x100 medley relay on Saturday.

Another talented Chinese teen, triple gold medal gymnast Zhang Nan, 16, shared the individual womenís uneven bars title with North Koreaís Han Jong-ok with identical scores of 9.50.

The Ulsan Dongcheon Gymnasium erupted in joyful noise late on Friday night as North Korea pulled off a 3-1 upset over China in womenís team table tennis to win the Northís sixth gold.

Day five of the two-week long Games closed with China way ahead of the pack on 71 gold medals followed by Japan with 24, South Korea on 22 and North Korea with six.

China was not entirely invincible, however. In fencing, where the Chinese have taken six of 12 golds on offer, South Korea upset them 45-40 to take the menís sabre team gold.

South Koreaís women bested China 45-35 to win the epee team title, the final fencing medal of the two-week Games.

Malaysia topped the Chinese 3-2 in hockey to make the semi-finals, along with Pakistan who crushed Bangladesh 9-0. Group A leaders India and South Korea drew 1-1.

Basketball hotted up with the Philippines beating Taiwan 83-69 to lift their record to 4-0 and set up a quarter final showdown with China next Tuesday.

In womenís basketball preliminaries, China crushed Uzbekistan 104-58 and South Korea beat Malaysia 93-45, while in menís table tennis South Korea beat Taiwan 3-2 to set up a final with China.

In the fourth weightlifting world record to be set this week, Kazakhstanís Sergey Filimonov set a menís 77kg class snatch mark with a lift of 173kg. The gold medallist surpassed the 172.5kg set by Plamen Zhelyazkov of Bulgaria this year in Doha.

In the womenís 25-metre sports pistol, a trio of Chinese shooters ó Tao Luna, Cheng Jing and Li Duihong ó set a world record with 1,768 points, breaking a 13-year-old mark held by the former Soviet Union and winning gold.

China shattered the world records in the menís and womenís 10m air rifle team events on Wednesday.

Malaysia and Vietnam both ended their gold medal drought on Friday, with Vietnamese Tran Dinh Hoa taking the title in billiards.

Sarah Yap Mun Yee and Wendy Chai De Choo of Malaysia took the gold in womenís bowling doubles.

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