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Silver but a golden day for Brazilian table tennis

BEIJING -- Brazil had to wait almost 50 years but at last, won a table tennis medal in the Beijing Paralympic Games.

The South Americans lost 3-1 to France in the final of Class 3 men`s team on Monday, grabbing their first ever Paralympic medal of any color in the sport.

"It`s golden pride for me, a sliver medal," said Luiz Algacir Silva, a member of the Brazilian team. "It now means that in Brazil more people will pay attention to table tennis."

Silva dropped the opening rubber 3-2 against Jean-Philippe Robin before Welder Knaf drew levelled for Brazil by beating Florian Merrien by the same scoreline.

France regained the lead when Robin and Merrien won the doubles clash 3-1. Merrien then outclassed Silva 3-0 to hand France the title.

Alaor Azevedo, president of the Brazilian Table Tennis Federation, said that in light of their winless run at the world championships two years ago, it was a huge achivement.

"It`s very important for us, ever since the Paralympics started we have never been strong in table tennis," said Azevedo. "Two years ago at the Montreux (Switzerland) world championships, we didn`t win a single match."

The Brazilian team pulled off a major upset of the table tennis tournament as they edged powerhouse China 3-2 in the semifinal.

Date:2008-9-15 17:31:00     
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