Champions Fan Zhendong, Ma Long and Xu Xin (ITTF photo)

Double Olympic team gold for China

Paul Stimpson

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China celebrated a memorable, if predictable, double gold medal triumph as the Olympic Games table tennis drew to a close in Tokyo today.

The men’s team defeated Germany 3-0 in the final to add to the women’s victory over hosts Japan yesterday. Japan won bronze in the men’s event, with the women’s bronze going to Hong Kong.

China did not have things all their own way against Germany, despite Ma Long & Xu Xin getting them off to a flying start with a 3-0 (11-7, 11-3, 11-9) victory over Patrick Franziska & Timo Boll.

Fan Zhendong had to come from 2-1 down to defeat Dimitrij Ovtcharov in the second match, the world No 1 taking it 3-2 (3-11, 11-6, 9-11, 11-5, 11-3) and Ma Long then sealed the gold with a 3-1 (11-5, 11-9, 11-13, 11-7) victory Boll, who saved three match points in the third.

Japan defeated South Korea 3-1 to take the bronze, Jun Mizutani & Koki Niwa taking the doubles 3-1 (11-9, 8-11, 15-13, 11-5) over Lee Sangsu & Jeoung Youngsik and Tomokazu Harimoto making it 2-0 thanks to a 3-1 (11-7, 8-11, 12-10, 11-7) win over Jang Woojin.

Jeoung beat Niwa 3-0 (11-3, 11-8, 11-7) to delay Japan, but Mizutani completed the hosts’ victory with a 3-0 (12-10, 11-9, 11-8) triumph against Jang.

Germany had reached the finasl with an epic 3-2 victory over Japan, despite a double for Harimoto, who defeated Ovtcharov and Franziska – recovering from 2-0 down to see off the latter 3-2 (5-11, 9-11, 11-5, 11-9, 11-9).

But Germany won the opening doubles, Boll beat Mizutani in match 3 and Ovtcharov overcame Niwa in the deciding fifth match.

In the women’s medal matches yesterday, China took gold with a relatively straightforward 3-0 win over Japan, though Chen Meng & Wang Manyu had to come from behind to beat Kasumi Ishikawa & Miu Hirano 3-1 (9-11, 11-6, 11-8, 11-7) in the opening doubles.

It was 3-1 (11-8, 11-5, 3-11, 11-3) in favour of Sun Yingsha over Mima Ito in match two and Wang Manyu completed the victory with a 3-0 (5, 9, 3) scoreline against Hirano.

Hong Kong lost the opening doubles in the bronze medal play-off as Shan Xiaona & Petrissa Solja beat Lee Ho Ching & Doo Hoi Kem 3-1 (8-11, 11-5, 11-7, 15-13).

But Minnie Soo Wai Yam beat Han Ying 3-1 (12-10, 9-11, 11-9, 11-7) and Shan 3-0 (12-10, 13-11, 11-7), either side os Doo Hoi Kem overcoming Solja 3-0 (11-5, 11-6, 11-9), to win it for Hong Kong.

The women’s podium (ITTF photo)


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