South Korea defeats North Korea in table tennis

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LONDON (AP) -- In one of the most politically charged showdowns of the Olympics, South Korea defeated North Korea in men's table tennis Saturday.

The tense match was closer than expected, with second-seeded South Korea winning the team competition 3-1 to reach the quarterfinals. The two countries, still technically at war, were playing a game that has often tried to bring them together.

Also among the men, top-seeded China defeated Russia 3-1 and advanced to the quarterfinals. China has already won gold and silver medals and men's and women's singles. It is favored to win both team events, which combines doubles and singles.

In the other two matches, Singapore defeated Australia 3-0, and Japan downed Canada 3-0.